The Foreign Office and Ministry of Interior on Saturday dismissed reports of an attack on Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib.
According to a statement issued from the Foreign Office, the altercation happened on a minor incident at a tea-stall. The district administration immediately intervened and arrested the accused, who are now in custody.
“The provincial authorities in Punjab have informed that there was a scuffle in the city of Nankana Sahib today, between two Muslim groups,” the statement added.
The FO asserted that attempts to paint this incident as a communal issue are patently motivated. Most importantly, the Gurdwara remains untouched and undamaged.
“All insinuations to the contrary, particularly the claims of acts of ‘desecration and destruction’ and desecration of the holy place, are not only false but also mischievous,” FO statement said.
Slamming the reports as incorrect, spokesperson from the interior ministry clarified that no such incident occurred at the Gurdwara and the government is committed to protecting the rights of all citizens, especially minorities.
The spokesperson added that the opening of Kartarpur Corridor was a manifest example of Pakistan’s commitment to respect for minorities.
Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib is another spot that draws millions of Sikh followers from all over the world. The gurudwara, also known as Nankana Sahib, was built on the birth site of Guru Nanak.
Other important gurdwaras include the Dera Sahab in Lahore and Gurdwara Punja Sahab Hasan Abdal, where Sikh devotees from across the globe visit and perform religious rituals.
In November 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the historic Kartarpur, for the followers of Guru Nanak, allowing them to visit the revered Sikh Guru’s final resting place without a visa.
The three-kilometre corridor provides visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims, allowing them to travel to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, spent the final years of his life.
The prime minister welcomed the Sikh community to Kartapur at the start of his address. “First of all, I congratulate the Sikh community on the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak and welcome you all.”
“I pay tribute to those who made this dream possible.”