Pakistan has firmly rejected the “baseless and fallacious” claims made by the Indian government against the Kartarpur Corridor, and the same have also been rejected by the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC).
In a statement, Foreign Office (FO) Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri has said that the malicious propaganda by the Indian government is simply an attempt to malign the peace corridor initiative.
“The malicious propaganda by the Indian government is simply an attempt to malign the peace corridor initiative by casting mischievous aspersions against the interests of the Sikh community and to detract attention from the reprehensible violation of human rights of minorities in India,” he said.
The FO said that it was no more than an Indian attempt to cast damaging accusations against the interests of the Sikh community and to detract attention from India’s own reprehensible human rights violations of minorities in India.
Chaudri added that the PSGPC is responsible for carrying out rituals in Gurdwara Sahiban, including Kartarpur, as per Sikh Rehat Maryada.
“Any insinuations regarding ‘transferring’ the affairs of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib from the PSGPC to the Project Management Unit (PMU) are not only contrary to the facts but are also aimed at creating religious disharmony by the Hindutva-driven government in India,” the FO spokesperson said.
“The PMU, under the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), has simply been created to facilitate the committee in this regard,” he added.
Chaudhri said that the Sikh community from all over the world remains greatly appreciative of the efforts made by Pakistan to complete the Kartarpur Corridor project in record time and for the excellent arrangements made to facilitate the pilgrims.
“India would be well advised to take steps to protect its minorities and their places of worship, rather than feigning misleading and sham concerns for the rights of minorities elsewhere,” he said.
India had on Thursday “highly condemned” Pakistan’s then alleged decision to transfer the management of the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara from PSGPC to a separate trust, saying the move ran against the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said India received representations from the Sikh community expressing grave concern over the decision to transfer the management and maintenance of the gurudwara from the PSGPC to the administrative control of the ETPB.
Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
In November last year, the two countries threw open a corridor linking Dera Baba Sahib in Gurdaspur in India with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, in a historic people-to-people initiative.
The move was lauded by members of the Sikh community from all across the globe.
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