The Indian Deputy High Commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia summoned by the Foreign Office to convey— Pakistan’s rejection of India’s allegations concerning the mistreatment of the Sikh community and attacks on Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, a statement from the FO said on Tuesday.
Director General (South Asia & SAARC) Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri conveyed Pakistan’s denouncement of the Indian government’s allegations of “vandalism and desecration” of Gurdwara Nankana Sahib and the “targeted killing” of a Pakistani Sikh youth; during the meeting, in Peshawar.
The DG termed these allegations as a part of India’s “desperate attempts to divert attention from the continuing state terrorism” in India-occupied Kashmir (IOK) and “systematic discrimination against minorities in India,” the statement said.
The DG further said that Pakistan’s constitution assurances equal rights to all — its citizens and the government is committed to protecting the rights of minorities — with zero-tolerance against any discrimination.
According to the FO statement, the Indian Deputy High Commissioner was told that “rather than pointing fingers towards others, India should focus on confirming effective protection of its own minorities and their holy places of worship, including mosques, from repeated instances of violation, hate crimes and mob lynching.”
The Indian allegations had surfaced — after police had to step in on Friday amid rising tensions in Nankana Sahib after a heated debate at a tea stall threatened to blow into a big law and order issue.
Four customers, while taking tea at Zaman’s stall in front of Gurdwara Janam Asthan, started a conversation about his nephew, Muhammad Ehsaan who, just a few months ago, came into the limelight for marrying a Sikh girl after allegedly forcing her to convert, as per reports said.
Reportedly then Zaman reacted with anger – which led to a confrontation between two groups.
A small mob gathered to raise slogans.
A team of Nankana Sahib Police had to interfere rapidly to control the situation.
The Foreign Office had
clarified that the incident in Nankana Sahib was the result of an “altercation
between two Muslim groups” and that it should not be portrayed as a
communal issue, according to a statement issued
later that day,