Gurdwara Nankana Sahib 'intact and undamaged'; 'false' desecration reports: Pak government

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan On Friday he rejected media reports that the historic Gurdwara Nanakana Sahib in Lahore was desecrated in a mob attack, saying the birthplace of the founder of Sikhism Guru nanak it remains intact and undamaged and the claims of destruction of one of the most sacred Sikh shrines are false.

The Pakistan Foreign Office in a statement said the provincial authorities in the Punjab province have informed that there was a scuffle in the city of on Friday between two Muslim groups.

The altercation occurred in a minor incident at a tea post and the district administration immediately intervened and arrested the defendant, he said.

Attempts to paint this incident as a community problem are clearly motivated. The most important thing is that gurdwara remains intact and undamaged. All insinuations to the contrary, particularly the claims of acts of 'desecration and destruction' and desecration of the sacred place, are not only false but also mischievous, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs came after some reports in the Indian media said there had been a mafia attack in the sanctuary. Reports suggested that hundreds of angry residents in Nankana Sahib threw stones at Sikh pilgrims on Friday.

Police in Pakistan said on Friday that a group of people, led by the family of a Muslim man who married a Sikh teenager, held a day-long sit-in outside the gurdwara to protest the arrest of their relatives who were held for alleged forced conversion of the girl.

The External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi said on Friday that members of the minority Sikh community in Pakistan were subjected to acts of violence at the holy city of Nankana Sahib.

"India strongly condemns these wanton acts of destruction and desecration of the holy place. We call upon the government of Pakistan to take immediate steps to ensure safety, security, and welfare of the members of the Sikh community," the ministry said in a statement.

Strong measures must be taken against criminals who surrendered to the desecration of Saint Gurdwara and attacked members of the Sikh minority community, he said.

The ministry said that reprehensible actions followed the forced kidnapping and conversion of a Sikh girl who was kidnapped from her home in the city of Nankana Sahib in August last year.

Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, also known as the Gurdwara Janam Asthan, is the site where the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru nanak , was born. It is regarded as one of the holiest Sikh sites.

The Pakistan Foreign Office said the Pakistan government was committed to upholding law and order and providing security and protection to the people, especially the minorities.

It said the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor is a manifestation of Pakistan 's special care extended to the minorities, in line with the vision of the the country's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had also expressed concern over reports of the Mafia attack on gurdwara Nankana Sahib.

In a tweet, Singh appealed to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to ensure that the devotees stranded at the gurdwara were rescued from the mob. SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal urged the prime minister Narendra Modi to take up the issue with his Pakistan i counterpart.