India summons Pak diplomat over Kartarpur row

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New Delhi: India on Friday summoned Pakistan High Commission’s Charge d’ Affaires (CDA) and lodged a strong protest over Islamabad’s ‘‘unilateral’’ decision to transfer the management of the Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara from a Sikh body to a non-Sikh body.
India also asked for reversal of this ‘‘arbitrary’’ move immediately.
Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said Aftab Hassan Khan, the Pakistani CDA, was categorically told that the decision by Pakistan is ‘‘highly condemnable’’ and runs against the spirit of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.
Pakistan has decided to transfer the management and maintenance of the gurudwara from the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee to the administrative control of the Evacuee Trust Property Board, a non-Sikh body.
‘‘The CDA of the Pakistan High Commission was summoned and our strong protest was conveyed. It was also conveyed to him that this unilateral decision by Pakistan is highly condemnable and runs against the spirit of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor as also the religious sentiments of the Sikh community at large,’’ Mr Srivastana said.
India has received representations from the Sikh community, expressing ‘‘grave concern’’ over the decision by Pakistan targeting the rights of the minority Sikh community in that country, he said.
‘‘Pakistan is called upon to reverse its arbitrary decision to deprive the Sikh minority community it’s right to manage affairs of the Holy Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib,’’ he said.
Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.