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Wednesday, July 08, 2020

‘Shameful situation’: Politicians across spectrum react to Nankana Sahib stone pelting

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said, "These are wanton acts of vandalism, arson and stone-pelting against one of the holiest Sikh shrines. If any more proof was needed on the state of minorities in Pakistan then this is it."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 4, 2020 4:59:38 pm
Nankana Sahib violence, Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, Nankana Sahib gurdwara, Nankana Sahib stone pelting, stone pelting at Nankana Sahib gurdwara, India news, Indian Express The crowd outside the gurdwara in Pakistan on Friday. (ANI)

A day after an incident of stone-pelting was reported from Pakistan’s Nankana Sahib, political leaders across the spectrum condemned the attack and said it was a “shameful situation”.

Tensions grew at the gurdwara after a mob led by the family of a Muslim man, who had married a Sikh teenage girl, hurled stones at Gurdwara Janam Asthan, the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev, and threatened to convert it into a mosque.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the attack on the gurdwara is “reprehensible”. He took to Twitter to condemn the attack and wrote, “The attack on Nankana Sahab is reprehensible & must be condemned unequivocally . Bigotry is a dangerous, age old poison that knows no borders. Love + Mutual Respect + Understanding is its only known antidote”.

Party leaders Shashi Tharoor and Ghulam Nabi Azad termed the incident ‘shameful’ and appealed to the Pak government to ensure the safety of the gurdwara.

“This is a shameful situation. Pakistani authorities can & should curb these vandals. I appeal to the Pak Govt to treat the defenceless pilgrims with humanity,” Tharoor tweeted.

“I don’t have much information about it. Nankana Sahib is a sacred place for Sikhs and people of all religions have respect for it. If such an incident has occurred, all of us strongly condemn it,” Azad told reporters.

The party’s spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also took to Twitter and wrote, “The attack on the Nankana Sahib Gurdwara is an incident shaming the ideals and religious values of humanity. The government of Pakistan is directly responsible for this attack. We strongly condemn this incident. Government of Pakistan should ensure the safety of Nankana Sahib.”

Meanwhile, Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said that the persecution of minorities in Pakistan is a real issue and slammed the Punjab government and Congress party for opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

“Persecution of minorities in Pak is a reality. Today’s attack on Gurdwara Sri #NankanaSahib has shown its horrible face. I want to ask @capt_amarinder & @INCIndia how can they oppose PM @narendramodi ’s noble humanitarian gesture of giving rights to such persecuted minorities!” she tweeted.

“True face of Pak stands exposed! First Sikh minor girl kidnapped & forcibly married. Now kidnappers attacking victim family & holy shrine Gurdwara #NankanaSahib. I urge PM @narendramodi ji & @DrSJaishankar to ensure Pak stops this barbarity & ensure safety of Pak Sikh community,” Harsimrat added.

Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri also said, “These are wanton acts of vandalism, arson and stone-pelting against one of the holiest Sikh shrines. If any more proof was needed on the state of minorities in Pakistan then this is it.”

The incident had led to outrage in India, with the Ministry of External Affairs condemning the action and urging the Pakistan government to “take immediate steps”.

“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,” the MEA said in a statement.

“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,” it added.

Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh also urged Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to “immediately intervene to ensure that the devotees stranded in Gurdwara Nankana Sahib are rescued and the historic Gurdwara is saved from the angry mob surrounding it”.

Calling the attack “despicable”, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up the matter with Imran Khan.

Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) president Manjinder Singh Sirsa shared a clip where a man videotaping the protest is heard appealing to the “Sikh sangat” not to step out of their homes. Sirsa said a protest would be held outside the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi on Saturday.

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