By Asia Samachar Team | PAKISTAN |
Pakistan premier today lambasted the perpetrators of the Nankana demonstration incident which has caught the attention of Sikhs worldwide and also promoted a number of Muslim groups to bring flowers to the gurdwara marking the birth place of Guru Nanak.
The prime mover of the Friday (3 Jan) incident at Gurdwara Janam Asthan – who had angrily called for a mosque to replace the historically significant gurdwara – has since released a video clip seeking apology, though Sikhs in Pakistan have called for action to be taken against him.
In two tweets today (5 Jan 2020), Prime Minister Imran Khan said: “The major difference between the condemnable Nankana incident & the ongoing attacks across India on Muslims & other minorities is this: the former is against my vision & will find zero tolerance & protection from the govt incl police & judiciary;
“In contrast, Modi’s RSS vision supports minorities oppression & the targeted attacks against Muslims are part of this agenda. RSS goons conducting public lynchings, Muslims being violated by mobs are all not only supported by Modi Govt but Indian police leads anti-Muslim attacks.”
Imran played a pivotal role in the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor just before the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak’s birth in November 2019. The corridor allows Indians to visit the birth place of the Sikh faith founder, located just miles from the Indian-Pakistan border in Punjab.
The joy and celebratory mood of the opening of the corridor was marred some minor incidents. However, the mob demonstration after a Friday prayer, led by a local man connected to an earlier controversy of a Sikh girl allegedly forced to convert to Islam, was a disappointment for many Sikhs.
However, it had turned out that the perpetrator had personal motives.
In a report today, quoting unnamed official source, The Dawn reported that in the Friday incident, police had to step in amid rising tensions in Nankana Sahib after a heated debate at a tea stall threatened to blow into a big law and order issue.
The Pakistan newspaper noted that reports said four customers while taking tea at Zaman’s stall in front of Gurdwara Janam Asthan started a conversation about his nephew, Muhammad Ehsaan who, just a few months ago, came into the limelight for marrying a Sikh girl after allegedly forcing her to convert.
Zaman reportedly reacted with anger, which led to a confrontation between two groups. A small crowd gathered to raise slogans. A team of Nankana Sahib police had to intervene briskly to control the situation, according to the report.
Panjab’s Muslim leaders and scholars, including Syed Ali Raza Gillani who hails from the family lineage of Syed Mian Mir, had condemned the attempt to use the ‘Islam card’ in the incident. They had gathered at the gurdwara yesterday with offerings of support and flowers.
The Indian media had generally played up the incident as one where Muslims were attacking Sikhs.
However, some local Sikhs saw it rather differently. An official of the Pakistan-based Sikh organisation described the mob demonstration an attempt by a ‘small family’ to disrupt the growing Muslim-Sikh harmony in the nation, especially in the aftermath of the major 550th celebration of Guru Nanak’s borth.
“The issue was fronted by a small family,” Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) president Satwant Singh had told Asia Samachar in a telephone conversation. “The Pakistan government has done much to enhance Muslim-Sikh bhaichara (brotherhood) in the recent past. Maybe some people are unhappy with it.”
‘Small family’ trying to disrupt Muslim-Sikh harmony, says Pakistan Sikh body chief (Asia Samachar, 4 Jan 2020)
Nankana Sahib under control after mob demonstration (Asia Samachar, 4 Jan 2019)
Pakistan PM Khan lays foundation stone for long-awaited Kartarpur corridor (Asia Samachar, 28 Nov 2018)