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Pakistan urges Sikhs to voice against India’s Kashmir move

Prime Minister Imran Khan urged the Sikh community to raise voice against India’s abrogation of the longstanding autonomy of disputed Jammu Kashmir region last month sparking an international outcry.

His fresh appeal came at the concluding session of a three-day international Sikh Convention held in northeastern Lahore City in connection with the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion, to be held in November in Pakistan.

Hundreds of Sikhs from Pakistan and other parts of the world, including Europe, Canada and the United States attended the convention organized by Pakistani government, Sardar Ramesh Singh, a leader of local Sikh community told Anadolu Agency.

“The Indian government is pursuing the racist ideology of the RSS, which will not spare the Christians, Sikhs, and even low-caste Hindus after Muslims”, Khan contended adding “You all (Sikhs) should voice against this ideology”.

In his address aired on local broadcasters, Khan reiterated that his country would not initiate any action, which could trigger a war between the two nuclear neighbors but warned that Islamabad could not tolerate “what’s happening in the occupied Kashmir”.

“There will be no first move from our side. But at the same time, we cannot tolerate the atrocities in the occupied Kashmir. Not only Muslims, but peace loving people from any religion cannot tolerate this”, he went on to say cautioning that both Pakistan and India were “in danger because of the simmering tensions between the two nuclear countries”.

Khan said his country, despite escalating tensions on Kashmir, would go ahead with its plans to open Kartarpur border crossing for Sikh pilgrims ahead of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

The two sides, which otherwise have suspended all other talks, held a meeting of technical experts on the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor last week at the Zero Point- a point at where the Indian and Pakistani sides will be converging.

Kartarpur border connects Pakistan’s northeastern Narowal city to India’s western Gurdaspur district.

Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara situated in Narowal — some 115 kilometers (71 miles) from provincial capital Lahore — is one of the most revered temples for the Sikh community as Baba Guru Nanak spent last 18 years of his life here.

The distance between the temple and Gurdaspur is merely 3 kilometers (2 miles) but the closure of this crossing costs Sikh pilgrims from India to travel hundreds of kilometers, via Amritsar and Lahore, to reach here.

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