New Delhi [India], November 5 (ANI): Condemning Islamabad's decision to transfer the management and maintenance of the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara to a non-Sikh body, the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) on Thursday urged External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to take up the matter with the Pakistan government to stop the "unwanted interference" in Gurdwara's affairs.
The Pakistan government has transferred the management and maintenance of the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib away from the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee (PSGPC), a body run by the minority Sikh community, to the administrative control of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETBP), a non-Sikh body.
According to a notification issued on November 3, following approval of the Economic Coordination Committee of Cabinet, Pakistan's Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA) had set up the PMU Kartapur Sahib which will be a self-financing body for the management and maintenance of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur Sahib under the administrative control of ETPB.
In a letter to Jaishankar, the DSGMC said the Gurdwara Sahib cannot be given to any government body as it is a religious matter and sentiments are closely attached.
"We strongly condemn this decision of Pakistan Government because it is a direct interference in Gurdwara affairs and there is no precedent in this regard. Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib is a historical Gurdwara where Guru Nanak Dev Ji breathed his last and sentiments of Sikh Sanest worldwide are closely attached with this Gurdwara Sahib," the letter stated.
"There is no Sikh representative in the proposed Project Management Unit in which Additional Secretary Janab Tarig Khan has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer and eight other members have been nominated, all of whom are non-Sikh with no knowledge about Sikh religion," it added.
The move by Pakistan's government comes days ahead of the first anniversary of the inauguration of the historic Kartarpur Corridor on November 9.
The corridor links Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur in India to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.
"Considering the sentiments of Sikh community, you are requested to take up this matter immediately with Pakistan Government about stopping the unwanted interference in Gurdwara affairs and restoring the charge of Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib to Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee. We remain grateful to you for honouring Sikh sentiments with immediate action and response," the letter to Jaishankar read.
Earlier in the day, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) objected to Pakistan's "unilateral decision" to transfer the management and maintenance of the Kartarpur Sahib stating that it is highly condemnable and is against the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.
In a statement, the MEA called upon the Pakistan government to reverse its arbitrary decision to deprive the Sikh minority community the right to manage affairs of the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev.
Meanwhile, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee wrote to Pakistan High Commission, strongly recommending it to give back administrative control of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur to Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
"Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur became directly under the administrative control of ETPB. This may affect the daily rituals performed according to Sikh code of conduct. In the light of the above, we strongly recommend you to give back administrative control of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur to Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC)," the letter read. (ANI)