Nankana incident: Initial official statements from Pakistan and India

Imran Chishti leading a mob demonstration in front of the Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib, on 3 Jan 2020
By Asia Samachar Team PAKISTAN / INDIA |

On the day very day of the mob demonstration in front of Gurdwara Janam Asthan, a key gurdwara connected to the birth place of Guru Nanak in Nankana Sahib, both India and Pakistan had released official statements of their own.

Pakistan had downplayed the Jan 3 event as a ‘minor incident at a tea-stall’ while India demanded for ‘strong action’ against the ‘miscreants who indulged in desecration of the holy Gurudwara’.

In another statement to the media on the same day, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri was reported to have said that no loss of life or property took place in the episode, chiding the Indian media for painting the “minor dispute” as a religious conflict.

“India is unsuccessfully trying to divert the attention away from minorities who are up in arms there,” he was quoted in a local Pakistan newspaper.

The central figure in the incident was believed to have been Imran Chishti. In videos that went viral on the social media, he could be seen speaking angrily in front of the historial Sikh gurdwara, claiming that he would get a masjid built in place of the present gurdwara.

He is related to the family embroiled in an incident where a Sikh girl was allegedly forcefully converted to Islam. The case is expected to be heard in the courts soon.

The very next day, he had issued an apology for any hurtful comments he may have “inadvertently” made against the community or the gurdwara.


PAKISTAN: Altercation between two Muslim groups in the city of Nankana Sahib

The provincial authorities in the Punjab province have informed that there was scuffle in the city of Nankana Sahib today, between two Muslim groups. 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.
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.

The Government of Pakistan remains committed to upholding law and order and providing security and protection to the people, especially the minorities. The opening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is a manifestation of Pakistan’s special care extended to the minorities, in line with the vision of the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

3 January 2020

Statement released by Spokesperson’s Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan


INDIA: India strongly condemns vandalism at Nankana Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan

We are concerned at the vandalism carried out at the revered Nankana Sahib Gurdwara today. Members of the minority Sikh community have been subjected to acts of violence in the holy city of Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji. These reprehensible actions followed the forcible abduction and conversion of Jagjit Kaur, the Sikh girl who was kidnapped from her home in the city of Nankana Sahib in August last year.

India strongly condemns these wanton acts of destruction and desecration of the holy place. We call upon the Government of Pakistan to take immediate steps to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of the members of the Sikh community. Strong action must be taken against the miscreants who indulged in desecration of the holy Gurudwara and attacked members of the minority Sikh community. In addition, Government of Pakistan is enjoined to take all measures to protect and preserve the sanctity of the holy Nankana Sahib Gurudwara and its surroundings.

New Delhi
January 03, 2020

Statement released by Ministry of External Affairs, India


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  1. Is it not common policy/practice in most countries that responses in such cases by Politicians in Muslim majority countries be reluctant to take any action against religious leaders where religions and religions and religious institutions are involved in any dispute?