Dubai: After facing backlash at a photoshoot at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan model Sauleha issued an apology to people for unintentionally hurting their sentiments.
India on Tuesday summoned the Charge d'Affaires at the Pakistan High Commission and conveyed its deep concern over the photoshoot at in Kartarpur, describing it as a "desecration" of the sanctity of the holy place. Calling it a "reprehensible" incident, India said it expects Pakistani authorities to "sincerely investigate" the matter and take action against those involved.
On Monday, the model and blogger as well as the brand stirred emotions for posting ‘barehead’ pictures taken on the premises of the gurdwara in district Narowal.
“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 was not done to hurt anyone sentiments or anything for that matter. However, if I have hurt anyone or they think that I dont respect there culture. I am sorry. And I just saw people taking pictures and I took a lot of Sikh pictures too there. I wouldn’t have done it at the first place,” she wrote on Instagram.
For the unversed, on Monday, Sauleha received a lot of flak on social media after her pictures posing without a headcover inside the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara went viral.
Shiromani Akali Dal spokesperson Manjinder Singh Sirsa, too, criticised the model.
He tweeted, “Such behaviour & act at pious place of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji is totally unacceptable! Can she dare to do the same at her religious place in Pakistan?@ImranKhanPTI @GovtofPakistan shd tk immed action to stop this trend of treating Sri Kartarpur Sahib as picnic spot by Pak people.”
In her apology note, the young model stated that she “respects the Sikh culture” and will be more responsible in future.
“I RESPECT THE SIKH CULTURE VERY MUCH AND I AM SORRY TO ALL THE SIKH COMMUNITY. These pictures were just a part of a memory that I went there. Nothing more nothing less. However, in future, I will always be more clear about these things and refrain to do so such acts. Kindly share it so people must know that it wasn’t intentional,” she added.
Earlier, Azhar Mashwani, the Punjab chief minister’s focal person for digital media, said the matter had been “forwarded to concerned authorities for legal action”.
Shortly after, the Punjab police tweeted that they are investigating all aspects related to this incident and strict legal action will be taken against those responsible.
“Management of concerned brand & model are being investigated. Worship places of all religions are equally respectable,” it said in the tweet.
According to a report in the Dawn newspaper, the model’s photos were shared on the Instagram page of a clothing brand named Mannat Clothing, but were removed after the criticism.
Mashwani was quoted as saying in the report that police would first investigate the model and the brand’s role in the capturing of the photos and later register a case.
“The Police are checking whether the model conducted the photoshoot on her own or the brand carried out the session,” he said. .
Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan is a holy site for Sikhs.