ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said that the recent incident in Nankana Sahib goes against his “vision and will find zero tolerance and protection from the government including police and judiciary”.
On Friday, police had to step in amid rising tensions in Nankana Sahib after a heated debate at a tea stall threatened to blow into a big law and order issue, an official source had said.
Reports said four customers while taking tea at Zaman’s stall in front of Gurdwara Janam Asthan started a conversation about his nephew, Muhammad Ehsaan who, just a few months ago, came into the limelight for marrying a Sikh girl after allegedly forcing her to convert.
Zaman reportedly reacted with anger, which led to a confrontation between two groups. A small crowd gathered to raise slogans. A team of Nankana Sahib police had to intervene briskly to control the situation.
Taking to Twitter on Sunday, Khan said that there is a distinct difference between the incident that occurred in Nankana Sahib on Friday and the continued attacks on Muslims across India.
“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision supports the oppression of minorities as well as targeted attacks against Muslims.”
He added that the Indian police, supported by the government, are leading attacks against Muslims residing in the country.
“RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) goons conducting public lynchings, Muslims being violated by mobs are all not only supported by Modi government but Indian police lead anti-Muslim attacks.”
The major difference between the condemnable Nankana incident & the ongoing attacks across India on Muslims & other minorities is this: the former is against my vision & will find zero tolerance & protection from the govt incl police & judiciary;
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 5, 2020
Speaking at a news conference in Nankana Sahib on Sunday, Interior Minister Brig retired Ijaz Ahmad Shah said that Nankana Sahib is an example for the world and the rest of the country in terms of minorities living and coexisting in peace and camaraderie.
“However, when you live together, conflict also tends to arise,” he said.
He expressed disappointment over the fact that the incident in Nankana Sahib on Friday was “exaggerated” in local and international media.
“The Kartarpur Corridor has bridged the distance between Muslims and the Sikh community. This has been hard to digest for a select few, internationally and locally,” he maintained.
“I have been told that slogans favouring the leaders of other political parties were also chanted during the incident. I will not name them. [But] this confirms my belief that anti-state elements wish to damage the relations between the Muslims and the Sikh community,” he added.
In a statement issued late on Friday, the Foreign Office had clarified that the incident in Nankana Sahib was the result of an “altercation between two Muslim groups” and that it should not be portrayed as a communal issue.
“The provincial authorities in the Punjab have informed that there was [a] scuffle in the city of Nankana Sahib, between two Muslim groups. The altercation happened on a minor incident at a tea stall,” the FO spokesperson had said, adding that the district administration “immediately intervened” and arrested the accused, who are now in custody.
On Saturday, activists of the Aman Council visited the gurdwara and expressed satisfaction with the security measures adopted by the law enforcers. They also expressed solidarity with the Sikh community.