Pakistan on Friday summoned the Indian Charge d’Affaires to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to communicate that Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) remained responsible for carrying out rituals in gurdwaras across the country, including at the Kartarpur Sahib.
The move comes a day after India described as “highly condemnable” Pakistan’s decision to transfer the management of the Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara from a Sikh body to a separate trust, saying it runs against the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday that India had received representations from the Sikh community expressing grave concern over the decision to transfer the management and maintenance of the gurudwara from the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee to the administrative control of the Evacuee Trust Property Board, a non-Sikh body.
According to the Pakistan Foreign Office, it was underlined that the PSGPC remained responsible for carrying out rituals in Gurdwara Sahiban, including Kartarpur as per the Sikh Rehat Maryada, and the Project Management Unit (PMU), under the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), had simply been created to facilitate the PSGPC.
It said that the Indian side was told that any insinuations regarding transferring the affairs of the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur from the PSGPC to the PMU were contrary to the facts and ran against the spirit of the landmark initiative.
In November last year, the two countries threw open a corridor linking Dera Baba Sahib in Gurdaspur in India with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, in a historic people-to-people initiative.
The Kartarpur corridor was thrown open in the midst of heightened tension between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue.
Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometers from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
It is the final resting place of the Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev, who had spent the last 18 years of his life in Kartarpur. PTI SH AKJ MRJ 11070025