LAHORE – Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and members of the Sikh community expressed annoyance over the fashion photoshoot at the Kartarpur corridor.
The ‘offensive’ shoot was first pointed out by prominent Indian Sikh journalist, Ravinder Singh Robin. The photos show a model posing for the camera bareheaded, compromising the sanctity of the place.
“Modelling bareheaded for ladies’ attire, in the premises of Gurdwara Sri Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, by a Lahorite woman,” Robin wrote on Twitter. “[This] has several hurt the religious sentiments of Sikhs. Further, the pictures were uploaded on social media,” he added while tagging the post to Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Pakistan.
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 @MORAisbOfficial pic.twitter.com/i5RX01kWGo
— Ravinder Singh Robin ਰਵਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ رویندرسنگھ روبن (@rsrobin1) November 29, 2021
Fawad Chaudhry slammed the designer and the model for photoshoot.
“The Designer and the model must apologise to Sikh Community #KartarPurSahib is a religious symbol and not a Film set,” he wrote on Twitter.
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) November 29, 2021
Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the President of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management committee, also condemned the act, calling it “desecration”.
“Pakistan court issued arrest warrant of star who did dance video at Mosque; same must be done against this woman from Lahore as an example of treating all religion at par.” He added, “Otherwise, any talk of respect for Sikhism is hollow,” he said.
In another tweet, Manjinder commented, “Such behaviour and act at the pious place of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji is totally unacceptable! Can she dare to do the same at her religious place in Pakistan? Imran Khan and the government of Pakistan should take immediate action to stop this trend of treating Sri Kartarpur Sahib as a picnic spot by Pakistani people.”
Modelling at Sri Kartarpur Sahib is Desecration. Pak Court issued Arrest Warrant of star who did dance video at Mosque; same must be done against this woman frm Lahore as example of treating all religion at par
— Manjinder Singh Sirsa (@mssirsa) November 29, 2021
Meanwhile, the clothing brand, Mannat, has issued a clarification on the matter. The Instagram page has since removed the controversial posts and released a statement.
“The pictures posted on our accounts 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 read. “However, we accept our mistake that we should not have posted this content and we apologise to every single person who was offended by this. All the holy places are very sacred to us.”
View this post on Instagram
The statement concluded, “The pictures and posts have been removed from all our media channels. Again, we apologise wholeheartedly for hurting the public sentiment. Believe us when we say we had no such intention.”
On the other hand, Punjab Police in a statement said that they are investigating all aspects related to this incident and strict legal action will be taken against responsible.
“Management of concerned brand & model are being investigated. Worship places of all religions are equally respectable,” read the statement.