India has summoned Pakistani's Charge d'Affaires to convey deep concerns over "desecration of the sanctity of Gurdwara Shri Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur" by a Pakistani model and a clothing brand.
The Pakistani model's photoshoot at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in her country has been criticised widely for hurting sentiments of Sikhs. The model, Sauleha, was seen bareheaded in the photos posted on Instagram. Covering one's head in a gurdwara is mandatory.
"Pakistani Charge d'Affaires was summoned today to convey our deep concern at the incident of desecration of the sanctity of Gurdwara Shri Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur by a Pakistani model and a clothing brand," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.
"It was conveyed that this reprehensible incident has deeply hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community in India and worldwide. Such continued incidents of desecration and disrespect of places of religious worship of the minority communities in Pakistan highlight the lack of respect for the faith of these communities," the statement said.
"It was further conveyed that we expect Pakistani authorities to sincerely investigate this matter and take action against those involved," it said.
Modelling bareheaded for ladies' attire, in the premises of Gurdwara Sri Darbar Sahib at #KartarpurSahib in Pakistan, by a Lahorite woman, has several hurt the religious sentiments of Sikhs. Further the pictures were uploaded on social media.@ImranKhanPTI@MORAisbOfficialpic.twitter.com/i5RX01kWGo— Ravinder Singh Robin ਰਵਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ رویندرسنگھ روبن (@rsrobin1) November 29, 2021
Sauleha later deleted the photos and posted an apology on her Instagram page. In her apology, she said she did not intend to hurt anyone. "Recently I posted a picture on Instagram that was not even a part of a shoot or anything. I just went to Kartarpur to learn about the history and know about the Sikh community. It wasn't done to hurt anyone's sentiments or anything for that matter. However, if I have hurt anyone or they think that I don't respect their culture, I am sorry," she wrote in her Instagram post.
The brand has also clarified that the pictures were not part of a photoshoot.
Pakistan police have started an investigation into the incident. The police said they are looking into all aspects of the photoshoot and will take action.
Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the designer and the model must apologise to the Sikh community. "Kartarpur Sahib is a religious symbol and not a film set," he tweeted.