Indian artist Gurmeet Singh poses with a paper model of the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan -- the focus of the Kartarpur corridor between India and Pakistan -- in Amritsar on November 28, 2018. (Photo: NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)


Sikh groups in the US have urged Pakistan to refrain from making any structural changes at the Kartarpur Sahib Complex to accommodate the upcoming influx of visitors from around the world.

The appeal has been made by the American Sikh Council (ASC) and the Sikh in America (SIA).

In November, both Pakistani and Indian governments agreed to open up Kartarpur Corridor for Sikhs to visit the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev.

“Any structural changes and/or additions to accommodate upcoming huge visitors either coming from India, Pakistan or Sikh diaspora living across globe by lodging to restrooms and more must be done at a distance, away from the main KSC so that the Kartarpur Sahib original farms, natural areas spread around 100 acres of land that belonged to Guru Sahibji, and the forest areas around the River Ravi can retain as much of its originality as possible. This needs to be preserved in its original landscape for posterity,” a message on the ASC’s website said.

Gurdas Singh, ASC president, and Gurinder Pal Singh, SIA president, told Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper that in the name of development the original structure might be damaged.

“Such efforts must be and should be kept at bay without compromising original structure spread across 100 acres,” Gurinder Pal Singh told Dawn.

Both of them, however, thanked the Pakistani government for opening the Kartarpur Corridor and taking “proactive step towards peace and amity of two people (Indian Punjab and Pakistani Punjab) who have so much in common, from language to food, from Punjabi poetry to clothes and so much more”.