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Smoking advertisement inside ‘Prasad’ wrapper in Pakistan’s Gurudwara triggers controversy!

Sikhs in Pakistan are provoking controversy over an advertisement for cigarettes that appears inside a prasad wrapper offered by their Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, Kartapur Sahib. The advertisement appears inside the wrapper of the Pakistan Sikh Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC)’s parent body. According to a Times of India (TOI) report, the advertising on the ‘pinni prasad’ wrapper shows a picture of a gold-colored cigarette box, and the brand is ‘Gold Street International’.

In one ‘pinni prasad’ wrapper, the picture depicts Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib, with the words ‘Blessings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’, and in the other, Gurdwara Jyoti Jyot Asthan, Sri Guru Nanak Dev, Kartarpur Sahib. According to the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC) Sikh Rehat Maryada (The Code of Sikh Conduct and Conventions), smoking tobacco is one of four taboo practices in Sikhism.

Despite approaching the PSGPC and ETPB about the wrapper with cigarette advertisement, a senior Pakistani Sikh leader told the Times of India that it was not taken down. ‘We also brought the matter to the knowledge of the newly-appointed chief executive officer, project management unit, Mohammed Latif, but to no avail,’ he said.

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According to the Times of India report, Atif responded to a query about the wrapper by saying that it is from 2019 and it is not available in any shops at the moment. TOI, however, learned that the wrappings are still being distributed among devotees. ‘This is inexcusable and can’t be taken lightly. PM Khan should take action and put the persons responsible for this abhorrent act, which has let the Sikh hearts severely hurt, behind bars,’ BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the former president of Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee, told TOI.



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