Which was just that
A short video made from a hand-held device just outside Gurdwara Nankana Sahib went viral on social media. One person was heard calling for help as he thought the worship place of Sikh religion was under attack. A young man, in the video, is seen passionately narrating his ordeal as he refused to divorce his wife who had converted from Sikhism. This whole episode was played out of proportion in the Indian media and they tried to give a communal colour.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office issued a timely rejoinder and called the incident an “altercation between two Muslim groups at a tea-stall” outside the Gurdwara. The district administration “immediately intervened” and arrested the accused.
The FO clarified that the Gurdwara remains untouched and undamaged. All insinuations to the contrary, particularly the claims of acts of ‘desecration and destruction’ are not only false but also mischievous. The same was reconfirmed by the religious minister.
While Pakistan does not have an enviable record with regard to the protection of religious minorities’’ rights, this incident was portrayed in a wrong light. Sikhs traditionally, more than any other minority group, have received lot of respect from the Muslims in Pakistan. Their places of worship are in good repair across the country. They are the ones who most frequently travel to Pakistan without any hassle around their religious and cultural festivals, which happens to be too often. Recently the government of Pakistan opened the Kartarpur Corridor to the final resting place of the founder of Sikh religion, Baba Guru Nanak. Every day as many as 5, 000 Sikh pilgrims can visit the site without any visa. Sikh leader and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu in his speech had profusely thanked the Pakistan prime minister for the gesture. No one should be allowed to destroy Pakistan’s harmonious relations with the Sikh community.