Pakistan’s Kartarpur management denies alcohol served at gurdwara function
Kartarpur Project Management Unit officials say video shared online of dinner party on November 18 may have been doctored for propaganda
Days after a video of the Kartarpur Project Management Unit holding a dance party on the premises of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Punjab province surfaced online, the authorities on Monday dismissed the report that participants drank alcohol and ate non-vegetarian food at the gathering.
Two PMU officials on Monday told PTI that alcoholic beverages were not served or there was no dance at the reception held on November 18.
The officials said the viral video which showed alcohol at the dinner party “must have been doctored for propaganda purposes”.
“A girl was singing a ghazal in the event and the video was doctored for ulterior motives,” one of the officials said.
The officials also clarified that the dinner reception was held about 2km from Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in the Project Management Unit (PMU) complex.
Inaugurated on November 9, 2019, on the eve of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the first Guru of Sikhism, Kartarpur has a special significance in the Sikh religion as Guru Nanak had spent the last years of his life at the place.
The PMU said in a statement that the dinner reception was held last weekend for stakeholders for the development of Phase-II of Kartarpur and providing better facilities to visitors. “On Saturday night (November 18), the PMU hosted an informal dinner at Kartarpur in which heads or their representatives of all important government departments of Narowal district, including the judiciary, district administration, police, Rangers, customs, anti-narcotics officials and journalists, were present,” the PMU said.
It said the purpose of the event was to enhance coordination and cooperation among stakeholders concerned with the deployment of Phase II of Kartarpur.
The visa-free Kartarpur corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.
The crossing allows devotees from India to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Narowal, 130km from Lahore in Pakistan, from Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur.
The gurdwara in Kartarpur is 4.7km from the India-Pakistan border on the Pakistani side.