Pakistan on Wednesday said that Sikh pilgrims will not be allowed to indulge in any “political activities” at gurdwaras during their visit to the country to attend the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev and the Kartarpur corridor opening.
“No political activity is allowed at the religious place (gurdwara). It is strictly banned and the action will be taken if any one (Sikh) is involved in political activities during his visit here to take part in religious festivities,” Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) chairman Dr Amir Ahmed told PTI.
The EPTB is a statutory board that manages religious properties and shrines of Hindus and Sikhs who had migrated to India following the partition.
When asked about a 4-minute-long video, released by Pakistan’s Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Monday, showing a poster of Khalistan separatists Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, his military adviser Shabeg Singh and Amrik Singh Khalsa in the backdrop, Ahmed said: “It is not in my knowledge but the government will not tolerate any political activity by the visiting Sikhs.”
Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhik Committee president Sardar Satwat Singh refused to comment on the controversy, saying “I am not aware of this matter.”
The Kartarpur corridor’s inauguration on the Indian side is scheduled for November 8 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will open the route on the other side the following day.
Meanwhile, nearly 1,500 more Indian Sikhs arrived here via Wagah border. So far over 4,500 Indian Sikhs have arrived here to attend the Kartarpur corridor opening ceremony and the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.