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Nankana Sahib Incident: Statement of BC Gurdwaras Council and Ontario Gurdwaras Committee

January 5, 2020 | By

Ontario: The incident of stone pelting at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan has concerned Sikhs residing all across the globe. The BC Sikh Gurdwaras Council and Ontario Gurdwaras Committee has issued a written statement expressing their concerns and demanding strict action against those responsible for the situation.

Full text of the statement reads as follows:

RE: ATTACK ON GURDWARA JANAM ASTHAN IN SRI NANKANA SAHIB, PAKISTAN

Surrey/Brampton (January 3, 2020): The British Columbia Gurdwaras Council (BCGC) and Ontario Gurdwaras Committee (OGC) are very concerned over the recent incident of violence that occurred at Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Sri Nankana Sahib, Pakistan. The BCGC and OGC condemn the incident at Gurdwara Janam Asthan and any act of violence orchestrated towards religious minorities in any country in the world as well.

Reports have been coming in over the last 24 hours regarding a mob of individuals that attempted to surround Gurdwara Janam Asthan and then proceeded to raise anti-Sikh slogans (including threats of evicting all Sikhs from Sri Nankana Sahib and changing the name of Sri Nankana Sahib in order to remove any Sikh presence from the area) and throw stones at the Gurdwara Sahib. The incident is being linked to an ongoing situation which involves the alleged forced conversion of a Sikh girl who was abducted from Sri Nankana Sahib as the individual who was leading the mob and making threats against the Sikh community was a relative of the abductors. While the mob was disbanded and dispersed by Police in the area, the incident has caused reason for concern across in the world-wide Sikh community. Once again, the question of religious freedom and safety/security is looming for Sikhs everywhere.

Moninder Singh, Spokesperson for the BCGC and President of Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar in Surrey BC, stated “These types of incidents should be condemned by all people around the world, regardless of their religious beliefs. We fully expect the Pakistan Government and authorities to take strict action against the individual leading the mob to Sri Nankana Sahib and to make an example out of those who attempt to create disharmony for personal gain by using religion as a weapon of divisiveness. I would also like to point out the despicable attempts being made by many affiliated with the Government of India, Indian Consulates, and the Indian media in fanning flames of communal disharmony between the Pakistani Muslim community and Sikhs worldwide. The Indian Government is responsible for the recent destruction of Gurdwaras in Hardwar (Gurdwara Gyan Godhri Sahib), Assam (Gurdwara Daangh Mar Sahib), Orissa (Gurdwara Mangu Matt Sahib), and Kashmir (Gurdwara Mathan Sahib) and therefore their so-called concern on this issue will be seen as insincere and hypocritical.”

Amarjit Singh Mann, Spokesperson for the OGC, added “As various reports on this incident keep coming in, we are seeing a very different picture unfold in front of us than what Indian media would have led us to believe. Those who want to use this issue to create communal disharmony will not be allowed to do so. We stand with the Sikh community in Pakistan and have always had a good relationship with the Pakistani Muslim community in Canada as well. We will use this opportunity to not create a divide amongst our communities, but rather to bring forward opportunities to create a sustainable relationship in which we support one another and are regularly communicating on issues that affect our communities across the world. Over the coming days and weeks, both the OGC and BCGC will be looking to coordinate meetings with Pakistani Muslim Organizations in our respective areas to strengthen our bond of solidarity while jointly condemning incidents such as this.”

The BCGC and OGC appeal to all Sikhs within Canada and around the world to remain vigilant and monitor not only this situation, but any situation which involves the Sikh community throughout the world. Far too often the Sikh community relies on mischievous Indian media propaganda which is aimed at maligning the Sikh image and creating disharmony between members of the Sikh community and other communities with whom they are creating solidarity and partnerships. With growing Islamophobia across the world it is far too easy to fall prey to despicable propaganda coming from Indian media outlets and the Sikh community needs to stay true to the instruction of our Guru Sahibans where we stand against tyranny, injustice, and oppression and not against any particular individual, community, race, ethnicity, or religion.



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