Netizens have complained on social media that the snaps of the model showed her "bareheaded" in the Gurudwara premises, which was unacceptable.
New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs summoned Pakistani Chargé d'affaires on Tuesday (November 30) to register protest and "convey our deep concern" at the incident of desecration of the sanctity of Gurudwara Shri Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur by a Pakistani model and a clothing brand.
In response to media queries on the incident of desecration of the sanctity of the Gurudwara, MEA spokesman Arindam Bagchi said: "Pakistani Chargé d'affaires was summoned today to convey our deep concern at the incident of desecration of the sanctity of Gurudwara Shri Darbar Sahib."
"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," he said. It was further conveyed that India expects Pakistani authorities to "sincerely investigate" the matter and "take action against those involved."
An Instagram post from a clothing brand, Mannat Clothing, showing pictures of Pakistani model Sauleha, taken at Kartarpur Sahib, triggered controversies and protests. Shiromani Akali Dal spokesperson Manjinder Singh Sirsa and other users posted photos showing the model without a head covering. "What happened in Kartarpur Gurudwara in Pakistan in wrong. The model was shown as if performing a dance in front of Gurudwara and the pictures were posted on social media," Sirsa said. "We cannot tolerate this blasphemy at any cost," he said.
Ms Sauleha has reportedly apologised for her actions, saying she did not intend to hurt anyone. Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry also expressed displeasure with the fashion photoshoot.
"I just went to Kartarpur to learn about the history and know about the Sikh community. It was not 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," the model wrote in her Instagram post. The brand also stated that the pictures posted "are NOT part of any shoot done by Mannat Clothing."
"These pictures were provided to us by a third-party (blogger) in which they were wearing our dress. Please note that Mannat has absolutely NO role in deciding how and where the pictures were taken," the statement from the company said. Religious minorities, including Sikhs and Hindus, more often face discrimination in Pakistan.
In August, the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi had summoned Pakistan's charge d'affaires and lodged a 'firm protest' after a Ganesha temple was vandalised at Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab province of Pakistan.