Chandigarh [India], July 28(ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday condemned the efforts to convert the historic Gurudwara Shahidi Asthan in Lahore into a mosque and urged External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to convey his displeasure on the issue to Pakistan.
"Strongly condemn attempts being made to convert holy Gurdwara Sri Shahidi Asthan in Lahore, site of martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh Ji, into mosque. Urge @DrSJaishankar to convey Punjab's concerns in strongest terms to Pakistan to safeguard all Sikh places of reverence," said the post on twitter.
On Monday, India had lodged a complaint with the Pakistani High Commission against the purported move. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava had conveyed this message.
"A strong protest was lodged with the Pakistan High Commission today on the reported incident whereby Gurdwara Shahidi Asthan, site of martyrdom of Bhai Taru Singh ji at Naulakha Bazaar in Lahore, Pakistan has been claimed as the place of Masjid Shahid Ganj and attempts are being made to convert it to a mosque," Srivastava told reporters in reply to questions. There have been calls for justice for the minority Sikh community in Pakistan, he said.
"India expressed its concerns, in strongest terms on this incident and called upon Pakistan to investigate the matter and take immediate remedial measures. Pakistan was also called upon to look after the safety, security, well-being of its minority communities including protection of their religious rights and cultural heritage," he said.
Gurdwara Shahidi Asthan Bhai Tam Ji is a historical shrine which marks Bhai Taru Ji's sacrifice to safeguard Sikh values. In 1745, he was scalped to death at this spot because he had refused to cut his hair or convert to Islam. This gurdwara has since then been considered sacred by the Sikh community. (ANI)