The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has slammed Pakistan's decision to deny entry to non-Sikh visitors to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan, for three days in January.
Thousands of Indian pilgrims of all faiths, primarily Sikhs and Hindus, visit Kartarpur, just across the border in Pakistan, to pay obeisance at gurdwara which marks the final resting of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak.
It was earlier reported that Pakistan has decided not to allow the entry of non-Sikhs to the shrine, from 3 January to 5 January, during the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh who is the tenth and last of the Sikh Gurus.
Terming the decision as discriminatory and clashing with the basic tenets of Sikhism, Manjinder Singh Sirsa, President of DSGMC, said: "According to Sikh religion, the doors of gurdwaras are open to every human being irrespective of religion, class, caste, gender etc., and closing doors of gurdwara, a Sikh religious place to non sikhs violates the Sikh religion's principle of equality of all human beings before almighty God."
The DSGMC has decided to raise the issue with Pakistan through India's External Affairs Ministry. They also plan to organise protest marches and rallies to oppose the decision of Pakistan government.
Sirsa also said that the decision goes against the MoU signed between India and Pakistan on the Kartarpur Corridor by which entry is assured to persons to the holy shrine without any discrimination.
He asked the Pakistani authorities to honour the agreement clause without any other considerations .
Sirsa countered the Pakistan government's logic that the decision was taken because the place has limited facilities for pilgrims it was decided to hold exclusive Sikh Event for Sikhs of Pakistan and India.
"Pilgrims visit holy shrine for 'darshan' and mental peace and not to enjoy the facilities and hospitality of the Pakistani government." he pointed out.
The Kartarpur corridor which was opened last year, allows Indian pilgrims to visit the shrine and return on the same day.
(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)