India's External Affairs Ministry on Monday evening summoned Pakistan’s Chargé d'affaires Syed Haider Shah and lodged a strong protest over the recent acts of vandalism and desecration of the Sikh shrine at Nankana Sahib along with the targeted killing of a Sikh in Peshawar.
India also shared strong concerns raised by members of its civil society, parliamentarians, and others over the continued persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in Pakistan, including the recent “despicable and heinous acts”.
“Government of Pakistan was called upon to take immediate measures to expeditiously bring the perpetrators of such despicable and heinous acts to justice,” the Indian ministry said in a statement.
The ministry has also asked the Pakistan government to ensure the safety, security, and welfare of members of minority communities in its country.
Earlier in the day, the Pakistan Foreign Ministry termed India’s condemnation of the incident related to Sikh community as propaganda.
Pakistan accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led Indian government of indulging in “smear campaign” against it and also targeted the BJP’s parental organisation Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
“These blatant lies are yet another illustration of the quintessential RSS-BJP propaganda drive, which will fail. Indian attempts to politicise the tragic killing of Pakistani Sikh youth are also mischievous and reprehensible,” Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said.
It added that the man accused of the incident at Nankana Sahib was arrested on Sunday and has been charged under the anti-terrorism act.
The Nankana Sahib incident and the murder of a Sikh youth have caused an outcry in the Sikh community, which is a minority in Pakistan, and has lead to criticism from the Indian government.