Attempt to usurp Pakistani gurdwara foiled

 An attempt to occupy an 18th century gurdwara in Pakistan's Punjab province has been foiled, a media report said Sunday.

The police stepped in when a group of five women who claimed themselves as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) activists tried to occupy the 18th-century gurdwara in Sori Gali near Ghaa Mandi Saturday, reported Dawn.

Their leader and former councillor, Romana Safdar Gujari, told the police that she had close contact with Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law. She also claimed that the Gurdwara Singh Sabah property had been allotted to her by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) on lease.

The PML-N, however, said she did not belong to their party.The gurdwara now houses a civil defence post and the women were later arrested.

Gurdwara Singh Sabah was constructed during British rule. Iqbal Qasir, Punjabi Khoj Garh director, told Dawn that the gurdwara was built by local Sikhs without any funds from the Akal Takht. After partition in 1947, the building was allotted to the civil defence department.

“We condemn all such attempts. I again request the Pakistan government to handover all gurdwaras to the committee so that we take care of religious sites with honour and dignity,” Robinder Singh, Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee member, was quoted as saying.

Pakistan has several gurdwaras, including Nankana Sahib where Sikh religion founder Guru Nanak Dev was born.

Minorities form approximately four percent of Pakistan's population of nearly 180 million.

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