Concerned over reports of Pakistan trying to convert a 200 year old gurdwara into a mosque at Naulakha Bazaar in Lahore, India has lodged a strong protest with the Pakistan High Commission.
The gurdwara is a historical shrine built at the spot where Bhai Taru Singh sustained fatal injuries and made the Supreme sacrifice in 1745.
“A strong protest was lodged with the Pakistan High Commission on the reported incident whereby Gurdwara Shahidandi Asthan, site of martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singhji at Naulakha Bazaar in Lahore, Pakistan, has been claimed as the place of Masjid Shahid Ganj and attempts are being made to convert it to a mosque,” external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
“The gurdwara is a place of reverence and considered sacred by the Sikh community. This incident has been viewed with grave concern in India. There have been calls for justice for the minority Sikh community in Pakistan,” he said.
“India expressed its concerns in the strongest terms on this incident and called upon Pakistan to investigate the matter and take immediate remedial measures,” he added.
India also urged Pakistan to look after the safety, security and well-being of minorities, including protection of their religious rights and cultural heritage.
India has time and again red flagged the attack on minorities in Pakistan. Recently a Buddha statue was vandalised in Pakistan drawing global condemnation.
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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also spoke out against this move on Pakistan’s part and Akali Dal condemned it equivocally as well. Capt Amarinder Singh also urged External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar to convey Punjab’s concerns in strongest terms to safeguard all Sikh places of worship.
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