In a recent development, a Pakistani government agency overseeing the Kartarpur Corridor has come under scrutiny for hosting an official dinner near the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur.
The event, which included live music and dance, took place close to the Darshani Deori (main entrance) of the revered Sikh shrine, sparking a heated debate over its impact on the sanctity of the religious site.
According to a report by The Times Of India, non-vegetarian dishes were served just 20 feet away from the shrine's entrance, while the chief executive officer, Syed Abu Bakar Qureshi of the Project Management Unit (PMU), and others danced to music performed by hired artists.
Giani Gobind Singh, the granthi of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, was reportedly present during the festivities.
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur is considered one of the holiest Sikh places of worship, as it holds significance due to Guru Nanak Dev spending his last 18 years there.
Devotees from around the world, including India, visit the shrine, often making a daylong pilgrimage through the Kartarpur Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district.
Reports also suggest that many Sikh invitees chose to excuse themselves from the dinner upon learning about the inclusion of music, dance, and a non-vegetarian spread.
A Pakistani Sikh leader expressed astonishment at the presence of Giani Gobind Singh at the event, emphasising that a gurdwara is not an appropriate venue for such gatherings.
CEO Abu Bakar Qureshi defended the event, stating that it took place approximately 1.5 km away from Gurdwara Darbar Sahib to ensure it was outside the gurdwara complex.
He argued that the Sikh maryada (code of religious conduct) did not apply to this specific location.
Qureshi also clarified that it wasn't a dance party, and the singing started only after routine evening prayers by Sikhs and Muslims, with only a few guests participating in the dance.
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