Pakistan summons India diplomat over ‘mischievous spin’ to gurdwara shoot gaffe

ISLAMABAD: A senior diplomat of the India diplomat mission was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Thursday to convey Pakistan’s “categorical rejection of the mischievous spin given by India to an isolated incident” at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.

Last week, a model, Sauleha Imtiaz, who describes herself as a digital creator on her Instagram profile, had posted bareheaded photos and videos of herself at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. The pictures were also shared by a clothing brand.

The model came under scrutiny after the pictures went viral on social media platforms, inviting criticism from Sikh circles.

The gurdwara — built at the site where Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, is believed to have died in 1539 — is one of the holiest shrines for Sikhs.

Realising the gaffe, Imtiaz Tuesday issued an apology on her Instagram account. “It wasn’t done to hurt anyone sentiments or anything for that matter. However, if I have hurt anyone or they think that I don’t respect [their] culture. I am sorry,” she wrote.

The same day, the spokesperson of India’s foreign ministry, Arindam Bagchi, said the “reprehensible incident” had deeply hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community in India and across the world.

“Such continued incidents of desecration and disrespect of places of religious worship of the minority communities in Pakistan highlight the lack of respect for the faith of these communities,” Bagchi added.

in its statement today, the Foreign Office said: “It was conveyed to the Indian diplomat that the incident was swiftly addressed and clarified.”

It said the government accorded “highest primacy to the rights of the minorities”. “Sanctity of religious places and revered sites of every community is ensured in Pakistan.”

The Foreign Office further said the Indian diplomat was told to urge his government to investigate the incidents of gross and systematic persecution of minorities, which continue with impunity and state complicity.

“Given its systematic marginalization and brutalization of minorities, India has no locus standi to even feign concern for minorities elsewhere,” it said.

The Foreign Office said India must focus on ensuring effective protection of their own minorities and places of worship from repeated instances of desecration, hate crimes and mob lynching.


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