The Hindustan Times – UN Security Council to discuss J&K in closed-door consultation today

China on Wednesday threw its weight behind its all-weather ally Pakistan’s call for convening an “urgent meeting” of the Security Council to take up the agenda item “India-Pakistan Question” to discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir following India’s decision to end the state’s special status and split it into two Union Territories.

Yashwant Raj and Rezaul H Laskar

Washington DC/New Delhi, 16 August 2019. The UN Security Council is set to take up the situation in Kashmir during closed door informal consultations on Friday, instead of the open and formal meeting Islamabad sought along with the right to address it, people familiar with developments said on Thursday.

China on Wednesday threw its weight behind its all-weather ally Pakistan’s call for convening an “urgent meeting” of the Security Council to take up the agenda item “India-Pakistan Question” to discuss the situation in Jammu and Kashmir following India’s decision to end the state’s special status and split it into two Union Territories.

China’s statement backing Pakistan’s call for the meeting said the 15-member Security Council should hold “closed consultations under the agenda ‘India-Pakistan Question’” and invite the Department of Political and Peace-building Affairs and Department of Peace Operations to brief the body.

If China had wanted a broader formal meeting, it would have said so instead of seeking “consultations”, the people said.

“The UN Security Council will discuss the Jammu and Kashmir situation behind closed doors most likely on August 16,” Poland’s permanent representative to the UN and current Security Council president, Joanna Wronecka, was quoted as saying by Geo News channel. Poland holds the Security Council’s rotating presidency for August.

Russia’s acting UN envoy, Dmitry Polyansky, told reporters that Moscow did not object to the holding of such a meeting but that the issue should be discussed behind closed doors. Security Council members need to coordinate their positions first because the Kashmir issue hasn’t been on the agenda for quite a while, he added.

“Consultations” and an “open” or a “closed meeting” are technically and substantively different, reflecting the gravity of the issue.

According to the UN’s definitions, both open and closed meetings are formal meetings of the Security Council, though closed meetings are not open to the public and no verbatim record of statements is kept and the council issues a communiqué. Consultations are informal meetings of the council members and aren’t covered in the repertoire.

The Security Council holds such consultations frequently, sometimes thrice a week, and members can raise any issue and several topics can come up at these discussions.

China has inserted Kashmir into the agenda and it will be one of them on Friday, the people cited above said. The session will neither be recorded nor telecast live and Pakistan won’t get to address the members, they added.

France had even proposed the council should discuss the issue in a less formal manner, known as “any other business”, next week, Reuters quoted unnamed diplomats as saying.

Russia has already said India and Pakistan should address their differences bilaterally, a position also adopted by Poland and the European Union. The US, too, has ruled out mediation on the Kashmir issue and called for a dialogue between India and Pakistan.

A letter sent by Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to the Security Council president on August 13 said a representative of the Pakistani government should be allowed to join the meeting. Experts said if this request were to be accepted by the council, an Indian representative would also have to be allowed to participate in the discussions.

The experts said much depends on the format of discussions and their outcomes – such as whether there is a binding or non-binding resolution and whether the minutes are recorded.

The people cited above also said that though Pakistan had tried many times to internationalise the Kashmir issue, the situation on the ground had changed since the Indian government’s decision on August 5 to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

“In the past, such efforts to internationalise the matter were aimed at discussing the status of Kashmir. This is no longer the case now as the status has changed,” said a person who did not want to be identified.

The people noted that Pakistan was persisting with efforts to portray a “doomsday picture”, including Prime Minister Imran Khan’s public remarks and tweets, and Qureshi’s letter to the Security Council.

Qureshi wrote in his letter that the situation in Kashmir poses “an imminent threat to international peace”. Qureshi also referred to Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, killed by security forces in 2016, as a “popular resistance leader”.

“There is, furthermore, a clear and present danger that India will provoke another conflict with Pakistan to divert attention from its recent actions in Jammu & Kashmir,” Qureshi wrote in the letter.

He added, “Pakistan will not provoke a conflict. But India should not mistake our restraint for weakness. If India chooses to resort again to the use of force, Pakistan will be obliged to respond, in self-defense, with all its capabilities.”

The Indian government hasn’t formally responded to the remarks by the Pakistani leadership and the people cited above said the changes in Kashmir were purely an internal issue.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/unsc-to-discuss-j-k-in-closed-door-consultation/story-GmHC9IZPUEz3MACePTsDkN.html

The Hindustan Times – Disconnected from families, Kashmiri students in Punjab a worried lot

Even though Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh has directed the officials concerned to ensure security of Kashmiri residents in the state, students are still worried as all means of communication has been snapped in the Valley.

Jalandhar/Ludhiana – Panjab – India, 06 August 2018. Kashmiri students studying in Punjab’s educational institutes are a worried lot as they have been unable to contact their families in the Valley, after authorities imposed Section 144 across Srinagar, snapped internet connections and shutdown mobile services there.

On Monday, the Centre scrapped Article 370 that gave special status of Jammu and Kashmir and took steps to change how the region will be governed.

As Punjab is most favoured destination to pursue higher education by Kashmiri students, hundreds of students from the Valley take admissions every year in various educational institutes in the state.

Even though chief minister Amarinder Singh has directed the officials concerned to ensure security of Kashmiri residents in the state, students are still under constant fear as all means of communication has been snapped in the valley.

Hilal Ahmad, a student pursing M.Sc at a private university in Jalandhar, said, “We are very disturbed and cannot concentrate on studies in this atmosphere. We are unable to contact our family members. We are worried about them.”

Like Hilal, many other students shared the same concern. Many students want to go back home but with the restrictions in place, they do not know how to reunite with their families.

“We are far away from home. We have no knowledge about our families’ well-being. We feel helpless,” said a Kashmiri student of a private university in Mohali, adding that no one seems interested in helping them out.

Hundreds of students have given applications to dean student welfare (DSW) for going home, but no one has responded.

‘Abrogation of article 370 undemocratic’

Meanwhile, students studying in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) in Ludhiana have dubbed abrogation of Article 370 undemocratic and unconstitutional.

“The residents of the state should have some representation. There should have been a referendum in Kashmir on the issue. We have not been asked whether we want scrapping of Article 370 or not.

It is undemocratic and unconstitutional move on part of the government that boasts of being the largest democracy of the world,” said a group of students in PAU.

The students, who were seen glued to television sets and surfing their mobile phones to catch the latest updates on Kashmir, were anxious lot as they cannot contact their family members.

“I am trying to reach out to my father but the call is not going through. All of us are facing similar predicament,” said a PAU student on condition of anonymity.

Students also expressed anguish over creation of Jammu and Kashmir as Union Territory with legislative assembly. “It would be a rubber stamp of the Centre. We do not see any good coming out of the new system,” said the students.

Basit Yousuf, an M.Sc student at a private university in Jalandhar, said “We cannot even a make a call to our families asking them for money as curfew has been imposed all over Kashmir. We don’t have money and we are stuck here. It’s disturbing.”

Helpline numbers not working

“Many helpline numbers were shared on social media, so that people can reach out to police in case of emergency. But those numbers are not working,” said a Kashmiri student Gurmeet Singh.

Meanwhile, Jalandhar senior superintendent of police (rural) Navjot Singh Mahal said, “We are ensuring security to everyone. There is no need to panic.”

Punjab second home

Students, however, were all praise for the hospitable environment in the university and in the state. “We have never faced any problem in the city. People here are very welcoming. Even in the aftermath of Pulwama attack when several incidents of assault on students from Valley were reported in other states, no such incident was reported from the university or anywhere else in the state.

Instead, fellow students came to our rescue and offered all kind of help after they learnt that Kashmiri students were under attack,” said the students in PAU hostel.

Dr K C Singh, coordinator youth affairs, GADVASU, said that students were attending their classes as per routine.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/punjab/disconnected-from-families-panic-grips-kashmiri-students/story-X1NwlvJLzE3rGe6fPaWUnI.html

The Hindustan Times – Pakistan to reopen historic gurdwara in Jhelum

Earlier this month, 500-yearold Babe-de-Ber Gurdwara gurdwara in Sialkot in Pakistan’s Punjab province opened its doors for Indian Sikh pilgrims.

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 27 July 2019. Ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the Pakistan government has decided to reopen 19th century abandoned Gurdwara Chowa Sahib located in Jhelum district of Punjab province.

The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) has unveiled a plan to reopen the gurdwara after its restoration.

Lying closed since Partition, the gurdwara, located on the northern edge of Rohtas Fort, a UNESCO world heritage site, near Jhelum, has fallen prey to neglect. The gurdwara commemorates the site where Guru Nanak is believed to have created a water spring during one of his (udasis) journeys.

A water spring is called “chowa” hence this place was called Chowa Sahib. Even today, residents of the Rohtas Fort use the water of this spring.

The construction of the gurdwara was completed in 1834 under the command of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

ETPB secretary (shrines) Imran Gondal said a multi-million project will be initiated by the federal government for restoration of the gurdwara. Gondal said the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and Sikh leaders would perform the inauguration of the restoration project, reported Pakistan Today.

Earlier this month, 500-yearold Babe-de-Ber Gurdwara gurdwara in Sialkot in Pakistan’s Punjab province opened its doors for Indian Sikh pilgrims.

According to the Sikh tradition, when Guru Nanak arrived in Sialkot from Kashmir in the 16th century, he stayed under the tree of “beri”. Natha Singh then built a gurdwara in his remembrance at the site.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pakistan-to-reopen-historic-gurdwara-in-jhelum/story-FkCekk4hNwgm3SjCRRz3CO.html

The Hindustan Times – UN court verdict today on Kulbhushan Jadhav, sentenced to death by Pakistan court

The verdict on Kulbhushan Jadhav by the UN court will be delivered on Wednesday after India challenged the death sentence given to the former naval officer.

Ashok Bagriya and Rezaul H Laskar

New Delhi – India, 17 July 2019. The top court of the UN will on Wednesday announce its verdict on India’s petition challenging the death sentence given to former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav by a Pakistani military court for alleged involvement in spying.

Almost five months ago, The Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) reserved its verdict in the matter after hearing oral arguments by India and Pakistan. ICJ president Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf will read the court’s decision in a sitting at 3pm (6.30pm IST) on Wednesday (17/07).

Jadhav was arrested by Pakistani authorities on March 3, 2016 in Balochistan on charges of espionage and involvement in subversive activities. India was informed about the arrest on March 25, 2016 and Islamabad has not offered any explanation for this delay. Jadhav was sentenced to death in April 2017 after a secret trial by a military court.

After being petitioned by India in May 2017, the ICJ directed Pakistan to “take all measures at its disposal” to ensure Jadhav was not executed pending the court’s final judgment.

India has argued Pakistan acted in an irresponsible manner and violated several international treaties and obligations, including the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, by refusing to grant consular access to Jadhav.

Indian officials have described Jadhav’s trial by a Pakistani military court as “farcical” and said he was denied the right to defence by a counsel of his choice. His conviction and death sentence were based on alleged “confessions” made in captivity.

They have said Jadhav was a civilian when he was kidnapped and taken to Pakistan and used as a scapegoat to blame India for Pakistan’s problems in the restive province of Balochistan.

During hearings at the ICJ last year, India sought Jadhav’s release and the quashing of his death sentence. It also asked for Jadhav’s custody to be declared illegal.

Jurisprudence on human rights, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, recognises the importance of due process, including the right to effective defence and an impartial trial. Jadhav’s trial by a military court violated due process standards, officials said.

Pakistan has not yet made the charges or the judgment delivered against Jadhav public, and he is unlikely to get justice, the officials added.

India also raised the Pulwama suicide attack that killed 40 Central Reserve Police Force troops in February this year to highlight Pakistan’s role in sponsoring terror activities.

In its arguments, Pakistan said India’s claim for relief should be dismissed or declared inadmissible. It also relied on a 2008 bilateral treaty on consular relations, which it argued overrides any obligations under the Vienna Convention. It also contended espionage and terrorism are exceptions to the Vienna Convention.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/un-court-ruling-on-kulbhushan-jadhav-likely-today/story-awICgAyMxeqy1cRMWVvqEN.html

The Hindustan Times – Anyone who criticises government is branded ‘anti-national’: Shabana Azmi

“We have grown up in ‘Ganga-Jamuni’ (composite) culture. We should fight the situation and not kneel before it. India is a beautiful country. Any attempt to divide people cannot be good for this country,” she said.

Indore – Madhya Pradesh – India, 08 July 2019. Anyone who criticizes the government is branded as an anti-national, said veteran actor Shabana Azmi on Saturday at an event here after she was honoured with ‘Kunti Mathur Award’ instituted by the Anandmohan Mathur Charitable Trust to recognise her work for women.

“It is always necessary that we point out our flaws for the betterment of our country. If we do not, how can our conditions improve? But the atmosphere is such that if we criticise the government we are branded as anti-nationals.

We should not be afraid, nobody needs their certificate,” Azmi said without naming any political party.

“We have grown up in ‘Ganga-Jamuni’ (composite) culture. We should fight the situation and not kneel before it. India is a beautiful country. Any attempt to divide people cannot be good for this country,” she said.

Former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh and his wife Amrita Singh were also present at the event.

Criticising Malegaon blast accused and BJP’s Bhopal MP Pragya Thakur, Congress leader Singh said, “Today the person who killed Mahatma Gandhi is being hailed as a patriot. There are reports that Nathuram Godse’s statue is being constructed, can we not raise our voice against this?” Singh was defeated by Thakur in the recent Lok Sabha polls.

He said fake news has become a bigger threat than terrorism and there is an environment of hostility and hatred.

The Congress leader also hit out at MLA Akash Vijayvargia for attacking a municipal corporation officer with a bat. “Akash’s father (Kailash Vijayvargiya) shows a shoe while his son shows a bat,” he said.

Responding to Amartya Sen’s statement on Lord Ram, Singh said Sangh’s ideology is “anti-women”.

“Sangh is anti-women. Why don’t they take Lord Ram’s wife Sita ji’s name…Why don’t they say Jai Siya Ram?”

On Friday, Nobel laureate Sen had said that “Jai Shri Ram” slogan is nowadays used “to beat up people” across the country and has no association with Bengali culture.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/anyone-who-criticises-government-is-branded-anti-national-shabana-azmi/story-lryYE3RzheYtvdywUjselK.html

The Hindustan Times – Pakistan fan sings ‘Jana Gana’ to support India against England

Ahead of India-England clash, the Pakistan fans have already started expressing their support for the Men in Blue.

New Delhi – India, 30 June 2019. In the sporting world, the India-Pakistan rivalry needs no explanation. And when the two arch-rivals clash on cricket field, it not only ignites emotions and feelings but also attracts eyeballs globally.

However, it will be a rarest of the rare occasion when on Sunday Pakistani fans will cheer and pray for their neighbours, India, who will take on hosts England in a group affair at the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Might be only for a day, but yes, the Pakistani fans have kept the rivalry aside and want India to uproot England from the showpiece event as it would help the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side enter the semi-finals smoothly.

After three consecutive wins, the Green Brigade has climbed to the fourth spot, pushing the hosts to fifth and another loss for England is what every Pakistani fan wants. Ahead of India-England clash, the Pakistan fans have already started expressing their support for the Men in Blue.

Before England’s must-win clash against India, former skipper Nasser Hussain had asked Pakistani fans on Twitter as to which team they would be supporting. “Question to all Pakistan fans, England vs India, Sunday, who are you supporting?” tweeted Hussain on Thursday.

In reply, a Pakistani fan Nasir Ali wrote the Indian national anthem on Twitter: “Jana Gana Mana Adhinayaka Jaya he Bharata Bhagya Vidhata.”

“Punjab Sindh Gujarat Maratha Dravida Utkala Banga,” he added.

Meanwhile, another Pakistani fan wrote: “Hum tou Abhinandan ko bhi chai pilaatay hain, Kohli tou phir humaaray dilon mai rehta hai. Tum saala gora loag humaari jooti ke neechay. (We even offer tea to Indian Air Force’s wing-commander Abhinandan and Kohli (Virat) rules our heart).

“Definitely backing India for two reasons: 1 – they’re neighbours, 2 – they’re passionate about cricket,” another fan wrote.

Another fan went back to the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the rule of the British East India Company saying: “1857 ki jang – Azadi hum ne mil kar angrezoo kay khilaf lari thi. (We together fought the 1857 revolt against the Britishers)

“Definitely Neighbours i.e. India. We can choose our friends but not neighbours. India any day over colonial England,” one more fan replied.

Earlier on Saturday, Pakistan had defeated Afghanistan to strengthen their position in the points-table with nine points. The Green Brigade will face Bangladesh in their last group game on July 5 while England has two remaining games against India and New Zealand.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/pak-fans-to-support-india-against-england-one-even-sings-jana-gana/story-RAOPodgturUBXtY0KUEQYI.html

The Hindustan Times – Mob attacks by extremist Hindu groups against minorities continued in India: Report

The USA State Department in its annual 2018 International Religious Freedom Report alleged that some senior officials of the ruling BJP made inflammatory speeches against the minority communities.

Washington DC – USA, 22 June 2019. Mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against the minority communities, particularly Muslims, continued in India in 2018, amid rumours that victims had traded or killed cows for beef, an official US report said Friday.

The State Department in its annual 2018 International Religious Freedom Report alleged that some senior officials of the ruling BJP made inflammatory speeches against the minority communities.

“Mob attacks by violent extremist Hindu groups against minority communities, especially Muslims, continued throughout the year amid rumours that victims had traded or killed cows for beef,” it said.

According to some NGOs, the authorities often protected perpetrators from prosecution, it said. The report said that as of November, there were 18 such attacks, and eight people killed during the year.

On June 22, two Uttar Pradesh police officers were charged with culpable homicide after a Muslim cattle trader died of injuries sustained while being questioned in police custody, the report said.

Mandated by the Congress, the State Department in its voluminous report gives its assessment of the status of religious freedom in almost all the countries and territories of the world.

Releasing the report at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the report was like a report card which tracks countries to see how well they have respected this fundamental human right.

In the India section, the State Department said that there were reports by nongovernmental organizations that the government sometimes failed to act on mob attacks on religious minorities, marginalised communities and critics of the government.

The State Department said that the central and state governments and members of political parties took steps that affected Muslim practices and institutions.

The government continued its challenge in the Supreme Court to the minority status of Muslim educational institutions, which affords them independence in hiring and curriculum decisions, it said.

“Proposals to rename Indian cities with Muslim provenance continued, most notably the renaming of Allahabad to Prayagraj. Activists said these proposals were designed to erase Muslim contributions to Indian history and had led to increased communal tensions,” the State Department said.

There were reports of religiously motivated killings, assaults, riots, discrimination, vandalism and actions restricting the right of individuals to practice their religious beliefs and proselytize, the annual report said.

Senior US government officials underscored the importance of respecting religious freedom and promoting tolerance throughout the year with the ruling and opposition parties, civil society and religious freedom activists, and religious leaders belonging to various faith communities, the report said.

India has 1.3 billion population as per July 2018 estimate.

According to the 2011 national census, the most recent year for which disaggregated figures are available, Hindus constitute 79.8 per cent of the population, Muslims 14.2 per cent, Christians 2.3 per cent and Sikhs 1.7 per cent.

Groups that together constitute less than one per cent of the population include Buddhists, Jains, Zoroastrians (Parsis), Jews, and Baha’is.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/mob-attacks-by-extremist-hindu-groups-against-minorities-continued-in-india-report/story-4xtmg0LjAOs6MGE38bDzuN.html

The Hindustan Times – Southern railways withdraws circular on Hindi usage after Stalin’s warning

The Southern Railway had issued a circular asking station masters and train operation controllers to communicate in Hindi or in English and not in regional languages to avoid any miscommunication. On Friday, the circular was withdrawn.

Chennai – Tamil Nadu – India, 14 June 2019. Last month, the Southern Railway had issued a circular asking station masters and train operation controllers to communicate in Hindi or in English and not in regional languages to avoid any miscommunication.

The Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU) had opposed the move as a backdoor imposition of Hindi in Tamil Nadu.

The SRMU had also asked whether the travelling public in Tamil Nadu would also be asked to learn Hindi or English to communicate with the station masters.

In its revised circular, the Railways has asked its employees to communicate in such a manner so as not to result in any misunderstanding of the messages.

Reacting to the original circular, DMK President M K Stalin said it is arrogance on part of the Railways to say that communication should not be in Tamil in Tamil Nadu.

He said, the instruction not to speak in Tamil in Tamil Nadu but only in Hindi is not just imposition of Hindi but language dominance.

Stalin warned railway officials to stop such “silly” orders or “his party would put a stop to it”.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/southern-railways-withdraws-circular-on-hindi-usage-after-stalin-s-warning/story-bIJ2TKoGJAuAFR7B9MjqZN.html

The Hindustan Times – Amritsar turns into fortress ahead of Bluestar anniversary

On the anniversary of Operation Bluestar in 2014, a clash between radical Sikh activists and the task force of the SGPC had taken place in which several people were injured in the Golden Temple complex.

Amritsar – Panjab – India, 06 June 2019. Amritsar turned into a fortress on Wednesday with security being beefed up in the city on the eve of the 35th anniversary of the Operation Bluestar to prevent any untoward incident.

Operation Bluestar was a military action ordered by then PM Indira Gandhi to flush out Sikh militants holed up in Harmandr Sahib Complex in Amritsar. The operation that was carried out between June 1 and June 8, 1984 claimed several lives and left the shrine damaged.

Around 5,000 police and six companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the city amid apprehensions that various separatist Sikh outfits may create trouble on Thursday at the Golden Temple complex.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president Gobind Singh Longowal sought cooperation of the various Sikh organisations and devotees to observe the anniversary peacefully.

In 2014, a clash between radical Sikh activists and the task force of the SGPC had taken place in which several people were injured in the Golden Temple complex.

In view of a shutdown call given by the Dal Khalsa, a separatist outfit, in Amritsar on Thursday, the police have made security arrangements. CCTV cameras have been installed at vulnerable points to keep an eye on potential trouble makers.

“We have deployed adequate security in the city and no one will be allowed to disrupt peace,” said Amritsar commissioner of police SS Srivastva said.

“I along with around 600 cops will remain present on the premises of the Golden Temple,” said additional deputy commissioner of police Jagjit Singh Walia.

Flag marches were also conducted by the police, along with the paramilitary forces, at several places. The police also busted a few terror modules which allegedly operated at the behest of foreign handlers to cause communal disturbances.

Meanwhile, the Akal Takht, the supreme temporal seat of the Sikhs, said the Centre should apologise for the Operation Bluestar. “A resolution should be passed in Parliament acknowledging that what the then government had done in 1984 was a mistake,” said the jathedar on Wednesday.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/amritsar-turns-into-fortress-ahead-of-bluestar-anniversary/story-3TFnBJHWAEbYITukjDY0GI.html

The Hindustan Times – Sikh shrine destroyed in Pakistan, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh asks PM Modi to seek probe

Punjab CM put pressure to undertake a thorough probe into the destruction of the centuries-old Guru Nanak Palace in Narowal.

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 29 May 2019. Panjab CM Amarinder Singh on Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pressurise Pakistan to undertake a thorough probe into the destruction of the centuries-old Guru Nanak Palace in Narowal.

He has also offered his government’s help to get the property in Pakistan’s Punjab rebuilt, if the Centre could secure Islamabad’s permission for the same.

Amarinder Singh wrote to Modi requesting him to take up the matter with the government of Pakistan asking for “a probe in the wanton destruction of the property in question and to bring to justice all the guilty persons associated with this unfortunate act”.

Calling for urgent steps to restore the remaining structure through scientific conservation and restoration, the Chief Minister also sought to impress upon the government of Pakistan the need to preserve all such monuments that have an association with Sikh heritage in an institutionalised manner so that such incidents do not recur in future.

“If the government of India arranges permission from the Pakistan government, the Panjab government (India) would rebuild the historic property,” he said in a press statement.

Amarinder Singh strongly condemned the shocking incident, which he said hurt the sentiments of Sikhs around the world.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, he wrote: “The building, which some media reports cite to be around four centuries old and has been visited by a large number of Sikh pilgrims, has been rapaciously pillaged and destroyed.”

He said the incident had caused great consternation in his state and it was almost ironic that it had happened at a time when the two countries were poised to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/sikh-shrine-destroyed-in-pak-punjab-cm-amarinder-singh-asks-pm-modi-to-seek-probe/story-IUS1w7hsAnitT9iKFzkYXO.html