Indian Sikh body blasts attack on Nankana Sahib gurdwara.
01 Sep 2004
AMRITSAR: A Sikh organisation in India has condemned the attack on the Nankana Sahib gurdwara and has urged the Indian government to pressure Islamabad to take action against the people who attacked the religious site on Saturday.
“I appeal to the Indian president and the prime minister to intervene and ask Pakistani authorities to catch the attackers,” said the chief of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Jagir Kaur, in a statement issued on Tuesday.
The Nankana Sahib gurdwara and an adjoining college were ransacked by a mob, who were protesting a recommendation to shift the Government Guru Nanak Degree College out of its premises to make way for Sikh pilgrims.
“Such incidents not only cause concern among the Sikhs, but could also impact the Indo-Pak peace talks,” said Mr Kaur, whose SGPC manages Sikh shrines in India.
Nankana Sahib is the birthplace of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak.
In 1999, during Mr Kaur’s previous term, the SGPC had stopped Sikh delegations from going to Pakistan on religious occasions to protest the formation of a government-sponsored body to look after gurdwaras in Pakistan. An SGPC executive member, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that in the past, the SGPC had spoken to the Pakistani authorities about the lack of security around Sikh shrines, but no action had been taken.
Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, the Punjab chief minister, has condemned the incident, saying those who had taken law into their hands would be dealt with sternly.