Lahore – Sikhs in Pakistan are asking PM Imran Khan government to deal with land grabbers who want to take over historical Gurdwara Shaheedi Asthan in Lahore.
A video clip shows two local men claiming gurdwara land and threatening to convert it into a mosque. Gurdwara Shahidi Asthan is a historical gurdwara where Bhai Taru Ji made the supreme sacrifice in 1745.
Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) president Satwant Singh said: “Sikhs across the world are sad to hear the news about Gurdwara Shaheed Bhai Taru Singh. The vision of the Pakistan government, especially Prime Minister Imran Khan, is to promote peace and brotherhood. The incident that happened at Shaheedi Asthan is the act of an individual. There is a plot behind the gurdwara, which is a property of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETBP). They plan to grab that plot. This is wrong and can’t be tolerated.
“If we take action, it will damage the brotherhood of Sikhs and Muslims. Nor will it be a solution to the problem. I have raised this issue with the ETPB and other government departments. We want the government to tackle such issues at its level.”
The ETPB, a Pakistan government body under which the PSGPC works, has lodged a complaint against Suhail Butt Attari, who is seen intimidating Sikhs in Pakistan.
In his complaint to the deputy inspector general (operation) of Lahore, ETBP secretary Sanullah Khan, said: “On July 25, Suhail Butt Attari, s/o Salah ud Din Butt, a local resident from Darbar Hazrat Shah Kaku Chisti in Lahore, tried to defame Pakistan by uploading a baseless propaganda video against Sikhs in Pakistan, the PSGPC and ETPB, and the Government of Pakistan. The DVD of the footage is enclosed.
“The PSGPC is the only official representative regulatory body of the Pakistan Sikh community and is playing a vital role in the image building of Pakistan as a minority-loving country. After the success of the Kartarpur Corridor project and appreciation of Pakistan at the international level, multiple conspiracies of anti-state elements are being hatched to malign the country.”
It said Suhail Butt and his associates Raza Butt, Umair and others are conspiring to provoke people against Gurdwara Taru Singh and trying to occupy its vacant plot in Landa Bazaar, Lahore. “To project his immoral acts, he is damaging the image of Pakistan at the international level. Strict disciplinary action should be taken.”