New Delhi (NVI): India today summoned the Pakistan High Commission Charge d’Affaires (CDA) and lodged a strong protest over transferring the management and maintenance of the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara to the administrative control of the Evacuee Trust Property Board, a non-Sikh body.
“It was also conveyed to him that this unilateral decision by Pakistan is highly condemnable and runs against the spirit of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor as also the religious sentiments of the Sikh community at large,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.
He said that the ministry has received representations from the Sikh community expressing grave concern at this decision by Pakistan targeting the rights of the minority Sikh community in Pakistan.
“Pakistan is called upon to reverse its arbitrary decision to deprive the Sikh minority community its right to manage affairs of the Holy Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib,” Srivastava added.
While condemning Pakistan’s decision yesterday, MEA had said, “Such actions only expose the reality of the Pakistani government and its leadership’s tall claims of preserving and protecting the rights and welfare of the religious minority communities.”
The Imran Khan-led Pakistan government officially took away the full control of the Gurdwara at Kartarpur in Punjab’s Narowal District from the PSGPC and gave it to Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), a Muslim body. The ETPB manages religious properties and shrines of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan.
Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
India and Pakistan in 2019 signed an agreement to operationalise the Kartarpur corridor to allow Indian pilgrims a visa-free visit to the holy gurdwara.