Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday reached out to the Sikh community of his country, which is outraged over the abduction and forced conversion to Islam of a 19-year-old Sikh girl, promising that his government would facilitate the visit of pilgrims to Kartarpur and Nankana Sahib Gurudwaras for Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s 550th birth anniversary.
Speaking during the International Sikh Convention at the Governor House in the Pakistani capital, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman, said, “This not a favour but a duty. Kartarpur and Nankana Sahib are as holy for Sikhs as Makkah and Madina are for Muslims. I promised to make access for Sikh pilgrims as easy as possible.”
19-year-old Jagjit Kaur, the daughter of a priest, was abducted from Nankana Sahib in Lahore and married off to a Muslim man after being made to accept Islam. Besides Government of India, Captain Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister of Indian Punjab, too slammed the Imran Khan government.
In a later tweet, he invited the girl’s family to settle in India, even offering them his help in doing so.
Meanwhile, in a separate incident, another girl, identified as Renuka Kumari, was kidnapped from her college in Sukkur in the Sindh province.
India and Pakistan are also currently involved in a series of meetings over the Kartarpur Corridor, which will connect the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in Indian Punjab with Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan.