Sikhs in the United States urged the Prime Minister of India to raise the issue about Gurdwara Sahib in Bagdad with his counterpart Prime Minister of Iraq Mr Nouri Al-Maliki for which a file is pending in this connection in PMO office. Releasing this statement Satnam Singh Chahal executive director North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) a representative body of Punjabi Community in North America said that this Sikh Shrine is situated towards the west side of Bagdad Railway Station on Baghdad-Samarra rail line and NAPA is also taking up the issue with all concerned authorities to handover the control of this Sikh Shrine to SGPC Amritsar. Chahal also disclosed that Mr Ahmad N. Jewad, Consular General of Iraq in Los Angeles is helping the purposed NAPA delegation members to get their visas for Iraq to visit this Sikh Shrine for which NAPA is also seeking the help of law makers in United States to make this happen.
In a separate letter written to Prime Minister of Iraq Mr Nouri Al-Maliki informed that Gurdwara is located in the grave yard, visitors are forbidden staying overnight, cooking meals, holding KIrtan (recital of readings from the Sikh holy book) and arranging community kitchen for the visitors and general public, perhaps in view of the sensitivities of the majority of Muslim community. This situation has caused great disappointment to millions of devotees and adherent to Sikh faith, ideology and teachings of Guru Nanak for religious tolerance, respect for all faiths and believing in one God, the creator of the universe.
In this letter sent to Prime Minister of Iraq NAPA urged the Iraqi Government to facilitate the restoration of this holy and historic shrine and allow its functioning in accordance with Sikh worship practices? The Sikh community while assuring that it will respect the laws of the land and local customs will be grateful for this gesture