India lodges protest with Pakistan

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(Riya Singh, Intern Journalist): India said it had lodged a strong complaint with Pakistan on Monday over claims that some people were planning to turn a historic gurdwara into a mosque in the eastern city of Lahore.

The gurdwara is a historic shrine built on the site where, in 1745, Bhai Taru Singh sustained a fatal injury. The Sikh culture considers the place as holy. There were demands for redress for the Pakistani Sikh minority community. India expressed its outrage at this incident in the strongest terms and called on Pakistan to investigate the matter and take prompt remedial steps. Pakistan was also called upon to take care of its minorities’ health, security, and well-being, including the preservation of their religious rights and cultural heritage.

On Monday, the Evacuee Trust Property Board of Pakistan (ETPB) asked police to take stern disciplinary action against a Lahore resident named Sohail Butt Attari, who was allegedly behind attempts to incite people against the historic Gurdwara Taro Singh and occupy the attached vacant plot.

An ETPB letter to the police also accused Attari of attempting to defame Pakistan by publishing a false hate video against the Sikh community and the Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee in Pakistan. It has identified the committee as the only official regulatory body for Pakistani Sikhs. The letter further claimed that Attari ‘s video was used by Indian media to hurt Pakistan ‘s reputation and that many conspiracies had been hatched since last year’s successful opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.