Raj Kapoor’s ancestral home in Peshawar, Pakistan known as the Kapoor Haveli is going through demolition threats. The Haveli which was built by the pioneer of the Hindi film industry, Prithviraj Kapoor’s father Basheswarnath Kapoor is right now in a very bad state.
Reportedly, the current owner of the Kapoor Haveli, Haji Muhammad Israr wants to convert it into a commercial building. However, the provincial government wants to buy it due to its historic importance and conserve it in its original shape for the tourists. Rishi Kapoor also before his death had requested the Pakistan government to convert the haveli into a museum. Therefore the Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had assured Rishi that he will do the same.
Meanwhile, amid all this, the residents of the area say that the building has become a ghost building and its state is deteriorating with each passing day due to ecological impact, torrential rains, earthquakes, and wind storms.
Residents fear that the Kapoor Haveli can collapse anytime. “It is a matter of concern that the Kapoor Haveli which we consider as the pride of our city is in dilapidated condition and is fast heading to extinction because of being ignored,” said Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, a resident of the area.
According to the PTI report, while talking about his desire to demolish the Kapoor Haveli and create a commercial market at the site, Haji Muhammad Israr who is a wealthy jeweller said, “I have sufficient money to cater to my needs. I supply around 3 to 4 maund (120kg-160kg) gold a week to the Peshawar biggest jewellery market,” he said.
It is learned that Israr had tried to demolish the Kapoor Haveli 3-4 times earlier too but FIRs were registered against him by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa heritage department. Reportedly, there have been issues between the government and Israr regarding the price of the building following which it hasn’t been converted into the museum yet. However, Israr said there’s no issue regarding money and he simply wants to make a commercial market over it.
The last time that someone from the Kapoor family visited the famed ancestral Peshawar Kapoor Haveli, was Rishi Kapoor & Randhir Kapoor in the early 90s.