India lodges protest with Pak over attempts to convert gurdwara into mosque

New Delhi (NVI): India today lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over reports that attempts were being made by some people to convert a historic gurdwara in Lahore into a mosque.

The Ministry of External Affairs lodged the protest with the Pakistan High Commission over reported targeting of Gurdwara ‘Shahidi Asthan’, site of martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh in the eastern city of Lahore.

“A strong protest was lodged with the Pakistan High Commission today on the reported incident whereby Gurdwara ‘Shahidi Asthan’, site of martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh ji 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 spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said while responding to a media query here.

Srivastava said that Gurdwara Shahidi Asthan Bhai Taru Ji is a historical gurdwara where Bhai Taru Ji made supreme sacrifice in 1745. The Gurdwara is a place of reverence and considered sacred by the Sikh community, he added.

“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.

The MEA spokesperson further said that India expressed its concerns, in strongest terms on this incident and called upon Pakistan to investigate the matter and take immediate remedial measures.

“Pakistan was also called upon to look after the safety, security, well-being of its minority communities including protection of their religious rights and cultural heritage,” he said.

This is yet another incident of religious persecution of minorities and disrespect to religious monuments of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan.