The joint opposition in the Senate had been in the middle of a press conference when the protesters entered the premises by breaking through the gate, despite a heavy contingent of police personnel being present at the location. Taken aback by the demonstration, the senators abandoned the press conference and ran inside the building.
The protesters were also not deterred by tear gas shells and went on to present their demands to the government.
The members of the Sikh community said that their religious sanctity had been violated at least seven times in the past few years. The most recent incident they cited was the desecration of the Guru Grant Sahib, the central religious text of Sikhism, in Mirpur Mathelo , District Ghotki.
Upon learning more about the protests outside, Chairman Senate Nayyar Hussain Bukhari asked the leader of the house to request the interior ministry to conduct an inquiry and submit a report by Monday.
Senator Heman Dass, who asked for the chair’s permission to address the issue, said that he had submitted a call attention notice on this matter was not allowed to speak.
The Chairman Senate maintained that nobody was allowed to force their way into the premises of the Parliament in this manner.
The gates of the Parliament were closed for more than two hours as Senator Zafar Ali Shah, MNA Dr Darshan of Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and Senator Amajeet of the Awami National Party (ANP) negotiated with a group of few dozen Sikh protesters.
The government subsequently decided that a 13-member committee of Sikhs would come forward with their demands, assuring them that the government would cooperate with them.
Senator Zafar Ali Shah then revealed that, upon forming the committee, the members of the Sikh community had apologised for entering the parliament in a violent manner.
He further added that the desecration of the holy text was an intolerable act.
Leader of the House Raja Zafarul Haq assured the 13-member Sikh committee that he would forward their demands to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
IG Sindh has also been informed about the concerns of the Sikh community.