Hari Singh Nalwa, known for his role in the conquests of Kasur, Sialkot, Attock, Multan, Kashmir, Peshawar, and Jamrud, was the commander-in-chief of the Sikh Khalsa Fauj, the army of the Sikh Empire.
The fortified haveli was built with a typical military design, including kill holes in the 1800s overlooking a prominent Hindu shrine, the Hindu holy ponds; believed to be Shiva’s tears.
Groups of Hindu pilgrims even visit the Hindu shrine twice a year as per the India-Pakistan bilateral pact.
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) have planned to restore the Sikh General Hari Singh Nalwa’s haveli (mansion) located at Katasraj in Chakwal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
PSGPC decided to restore Hari Singh Nalwa's Haveli located at Katasraj to pay tribute to one of the great military commander of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The restoration work will be carried out by PSGPC and ETPB jointly. pic.twitter.com/vbXYNLQ8Sd
— Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (@parbhandak) June 18, 2021
Satwant Singh, PSGPC chief, said, “We have decided to restore the historic structure to pay tribute to one of the great military commanders of Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The restoration work will be carried out by PSGPC and ETPB jointly.”
Pakistan’s relations with the Sikh community have already been at an all-time high since the country undertook the Kartarpur Corridor Project, for which the Sikh Community even recommended Prime Minister Imran Khan for the Nobel Peace Prize.
The Kartarpur Corridor is a visa-free border crossing and corridor connecting the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan to the border with India.
The crossing allows devotees from India to visit the gurdwara in Kartarpur, 4.7 kilometers from the India–Pakistan border on the Pakistani side, without a visa.
Since Kartarpur is among the most Holiest sites in the Sikh religion, the step was highly praised. That coupled with this new initiative to restore the legacy of a legend in the Sikh community can only be interpreted as a step in the right direction.