The two nation states, in November last year, threw open a passageway connecting Dera Baba Sahib in Gurdaspur in India with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan in a remarkable people-to-people project. Afterward, the Mohammed Tariq Khan-led Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) has been handed over to the sanctified Gurudwara’s management and maintenance.
“We have seen reports about Pakistan transferring the management and maintenance of the Holy Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib away from the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee, a body run by the minority Sikh Community, to the administrative control of the Evacuee Trust Property Board, a non-Sikh body,” the Ministry of External Affairs said.
Highly condemnable, against the spirit of #KaratarpurSahib corridor & religious sentiments of the Sikh community. Such actions expose the reality of Pakistan govt…: MEA statement on reports about Pakistan transferring the management and maintenance of Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib pic.twitter.com/E5avywUmkk
— ANI (@ANI) November 5, 2020
“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,” it said. The Ministry of External Affairs asserted, the Sikh community, in its demonstrations to India, put across critical concern over the decision by Pakistan “targeting the rights” of the minority Sikh community in that country.
“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 MEA said.
“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,” it said.
Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is situated in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometers from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. It is the ultimate resting place of the Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev, who had spent the last 18 years of his life in Kartarpur. The Kartarpur corridor was thrown open amid heightened hostility between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir affair. The relations between the two countries collapse after India did away with Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5, 2019, and branched off it into two union territories.