New Delhi: India on Thursday sharply reacted against Pakistan after it transferred the management and maintenance of the Holy Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib away from a body run by the minority Sikh Community to a non-Sikh body and called upon to reverse its arbitrary decision.
Earlier, the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib was managed and maintained by the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee (PSGPC) but as per the new order the administrative control of the Evacuee Trust Property Board, a non-Sikh body will run its affairs.
In a statement, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, ‘‘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.’’
He also said that ‘‘We have received representations from the Sikh community expressing grave concern at this decision by Pakistan targeting the rights of the minority Sikh community in Pakistan.’’
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, Mr Srivastava added.
Pakistan is called upon to reverse its arbitrary decision to deprive the Sikh minority community it’s right to manage affairs of the Holy Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, he said.
On Tuesday, the Pakistan Ministry of Religious Affairs had officially took away the full control of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Punjab’s Narowal district from Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee 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.
‘‘Consequent upon the approval of Project Management Unit (PMU) Kartarpur Corridor by ECC of the Cabinet, and ratified by the Cabinet (conveyed by MoRA...dated 23.10.2020), the competent authority has been pleased to establish Project Management Unit (PMU), a self-financing body, for Management and Maintenance of Gurdwara Dardar Sahib Kartarpur (GADSK) under the administrative control of ETPB,’’ the official order by Government of Pakistan read.
It added, ‘‘All officers/ official...are relieved from their duties with immediate effect with directions to join their new place of posting forthwith.’’
On October 29, the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) had announced that they will celebrate the first anniversary of the inauguration of the historic Kartarpur Corridor on November 9.