UNITED NATIONS, Dec 03 (APP): Pakistan Wednesday categorically debunked an Indian claim at the United Nations that Islamabad had transferred the management of the Kartarpur sahib border crossing for Sikh pilgrims to a non-Sikh body.
“We categorically reject India’s willful propaganda against the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor,” Pakistani delegate Muhammad Zulqarnain Chheena told the General Assembly after it adopted a Pakistan-sponsored resolution on promoting inter-religious harmony that also welcomed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative to open the corridor.
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC), which is currently holding the corridor’s management, itself has firmly rejected the Indian claim, he added.
Along with western nations, India abstained on the resolution, sponsored by Pakistan the Philippines, which was adopted by the 193-member Assembly by a majority of 90 votes.
“The Prime Minister of Pakistan took this landmark initiative (to open the Kartarpur corridor in Nov. 2018) in an openly hostile environment created by the belligerence and warmongering of our eastern neighbour, only to promote inter-religious and intercultural harmony in our region,” the Pakistan delegate said, while exercising his right of reply to the Indian representative’s claims.
“We knew fully well that it is beyond India’s current regime’s capacity to comprehend gestures of peace and inter-religious harmony, the Pakistani delegate said.
“But still, we decided to open the Kartarpur sahib corridor, constructed the world’s biggest Sikh Gurdwara and welcomed members of the Sikh community from all over the world by granting them visa free access to one of their holiest sites.
“We are not surprised that India continues to politicize this peaceful initiative by coming up with a baseless and fallacious propaganda.”
Zulqarnain said that insinuations regarding “transferring” the affairs of the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur were aimed at creating religious disharmony, cast mischievous aspersions against the interests of the Sikh community, and to detract attention from India’s own reprehensible human rights violations of minorities in India.
“While Pakistan is opening doors to the Sikh community and gaining their gratitude and appreciation from all across the world, the Hindutva zealots are following a well-planned strategy to eradicate their identity,” he said.
“I will not go into history, but one only has to follow what’s happening around Delhi these days to find out how the fascist Indian regime treats its minorities, including Muslims and Sikhs,” the Pakistani delegate said, referring to huge anti-government protests by farmers near the Indian capital.
As far as the allegation by the Indian representative of terrorism was concerned, he said India uses terrorism as an instrument of state policy against all its neighbours to point fingers at others.
“Since BJP-RSS zealots cannot realize their dream of Akhand-Bharat, they try to enlist, train, fund and sponsor terrorists to do their bidding and further their destabilizing agenda in all of their neighbouring countries,” Zulqarnain said.
“Instead of crying foul all the time, India would be well advised to take steps to protect its minorities and their places of worship, rather than feigning misleading and sham concerns for the rights of minorities elsewhere.”