India summoned Pakistan’s charge d’affaires in Delhi on Wednesday to express concern about the 'desecration of the sanctity of the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.
A major controversy erupted after a Pakistani model’s bareheaded photos at the shrine were widely circulated on social media. In the photoshoot, Sauleha, a Lahore-based model, can be seen bareheaded, posing for the camera, compromising the sanctity of the sacred place.
"Pakistani Charge d'Affaires was summoned today to convey our deep concern at the incident of desecration of the sanctity of Gurudwara Shri Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur by a Pakistani model and a clothing brand. It was conveyed that this reprehensible incident has deeply hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community in India and worldwide. 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," MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
"It was further conveyed that we expect Pakistani authorities to sincerely investigate this matter and take action against those involved," the spokesperson added.
Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management committee, earlier condemned the act, calling it desecration.
"Pakistan court issued arrest warrant of star who did dance video at Mosque; same must be done against this woman from Lahore as an example of treating all religion at par. Otherwise, any talk of respect for Sikhism is hollow," he said.
"Such behaviour and act at the pious place of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji is totally unacceptable! Can she dare to do the same at her religious place in Pakistan? Imran Khan and the government of Pakistan should take immediate action to stop this trend of treating Sri Kartarpur Sahib as a picnic spot by Pakistani people," he added.
Pakistan Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and members of the Sikh community also expressed annoyance over the fashion photoshoot at the Kartarpur shrine.
"The Designer and the model must apologise to Sikh Community #KartarPurSahib is a religious symbol and not a Film set," Chaudhry wrote on Twitter.
Following the controversy, Sauleha deleted the photos from her social media account and also apologised for her action, saying she didn't intend to hurt anyone.
"I just went to Kartarpur to learn about the history and know about the Sikh community. It wasn't done to hurt anyone's 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 in her Instagram post.