The Telegraph – Sunny finds Navjot Singh Sidhu on this border

Deol is contesting from the BJP against Congress incumbent Sunil Jakhar in Gurdaspur on the northern edge of Punjab

Pheroze L Vincent

Dera Baba Nanak – Panjab – India, 19 May 2019. Imran Khan ne pyaar diya, khulkar diya, itna diya ki hamein lena hee pada (Imran Khan gave love, openly, and so much that we had to accept it),” said farmer Satnam Singh of Molowali village near the under-construction corridor between India’s Dera Baba Nanak and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, at the place where Guru Nanak passed away in 1539, in Pakistan’s Kartarpur.

The corridor, on the table since 1998, took shape after Punjab minister and former cricketer Navjot Sidhu attended fellow cricketer Imran’s inauguration as Prime Minister in Pakistan and spoke about the pilgrimage with Pakistan army chief General Qamar Bajwa, whom Sidhu also hugged.

The Shiromani Akali Dal called Sidhu “the biggest traitor” and the BJP accused him of “speaking as an agent of Pakistan”. Until now, pilgrims needed to travel to Lahore on a visa and then go to Kartarpur. The alternative is to view the Darbar Sahib with binoculars at a BSF post on the Radcliffe Line, 4.7km away.

The Union cabinet approved the corridor plan in November and foundation stones were laid in both countries. Currently the binocular facility has been discontinued after construction of a land port, and a commercial and tourist complex has begun.

Satnam and others from the villages around Dera Baba Nanak often visit the Gurdwara Shaheed Baba Sidh Saun Randhawa, adjacent to the BSF post and on a barbed-wire flanked ridge from where devotees catch a glimpse of the white domes of Darbar Sahib. The villagers organise day-long langars (free community meals) here.

“If you give us love, you will get love,” Satnam said. “Sidhu did nothing wrong. He showed love, Imran reciprocated. Politicians would have ruined this opportunity by making false statements about Sidhu and Imran. Imran released our pilot in two days, shouldn’t we also enlarge our hearts?”

Villagers gathered at Gurdwara Shaheed Randhawa were unanimous about the issues that matter to them: First, jobs and education; second, peace with Pakistan.

“Shouldn’t our border be normal like other countries? No one is willing to invest in any industry here because of constant tension. We keep the bare minimum in our homes, and don’t spend on construction in anticipation that we may have to evacuate some day when the tensions on TV become real on the border,” Satnam said.

The elders said there are at least 10 youths from every village nearby who have gone to work as labourers abroad, mainly in West Asia, many of whom are duped by recruitment agents.

“Richer villagers can afford Rs 12 lakh to send their sons to Canada. We can spend only Rs 2 to 2.5 lakh to pay agents for jobs in the Gulf. The corridor will bring jobs, and hopefully peace also,” said farmer Gurmeet Singh of Thetharke village, 1.5km from the border.

“It is wrong to think that attacking Pakistan is something good. The war is against terrorism. We won’t simply give our votes to Narendra Modi because our air force bombed Balakot.”

Actor Sunny Deol, known for his action hero roles, including in Border, the 1997 film based on the 1971 Battle of Longewala, is contesting for the BJP against Congress incumbent Sunil Jakhar in Gurdaspur on the northern edge of Punjab. The pilgrims here said they like Deol but will vote for the Congress as the party helps in processing claims of compensation for crop loss in floods.

“Sidhu’s crime was that he tried to unite the love of two nations. Sunny is a star. We had a star here before (Vinod Khanna). They live in Mumbai and come here to vote. Parties field them because they feel that the candidate is popular enough to manage his own expenses,” said Sukhdev Singh, a sewadar of the gurdwara who had to evacuate his home in 1965 and 1971.

Vinod Khanna is, however, praised by many for getting bridges constructed. “We know Sunny because he is a star. He will get votes because of his party,” said farmer Salakhan Singh of Ruliana panchayat which changed hands from the Akalis to the Congress last December.

Salakhan is happy with Modi after he received Rs 2,000 under the Prime Minister’s scheme, and his Ujjwala subsidy also arrived before the polls. “Nobody has enhanced the respect for India like Modi has. But we want peace here. We are ready to defend our land, but every time there was a war we were pushed back 20 years.”

The lotus blooms bright among Bihari labourers, who make up at least 10 voters in every other village.

Ravinder, a daily wage labourer, said: “Us Mallahs (a backward caste) now get our entitlements in Bihar because of Modi. Here the wind is for Sunny, star hai, aur Modi ka power hai (he is a star and there is Modi’s power).”

https://www.telegraphindia.com/india/sunny-deol-finds-navjot-singh-sidhu-on-this-border/cid/1690783?ref=india_home-template

Sikh24.com – Pakistan forms ETPB’s task force to protect religious properties of minorities


Panja Sahib Gudwara – Hasan Abdal – Panjab

Islamabad Capital Teritory – Pakistan, 18 May 2019. Following the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Pakistani Ministry of Religious Affairs has formed a task force of the Evacuee Trust Property Board on May 16. The move is aimed at protecting the religious properties belonging to the shrines of minorities residing in Pakistan.

Issuing a notification in this regard, the section officer Mohammad Riaz informed that PM Imran Khan’s advisor Dr. Ishrat Hussain has been appointed as chairman of this task force while the former PSGPC member Bishan Singh, Parliamentary Secretary Mohinderpal Singh, Dr Munavvar Chand, Diwan Chand Chawla, Advocate M Parkash Kumar, Ramesh Singh Khalsa, Santokh Singh, MPA Ravi Kumar, Bhagat Singh, Jawahar Lal, Abdul Wazid Rana, Bibi Mahin Rehman and Bibi Yasmeen Larry have been appointed as a member of this task force.

Beside it, the Law and Justice Division, Secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and the chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board will also be its members.

Sharing the development with media, Bishan Singh and Mohinderpal Singh said that the task force will take care of properties belonging to religious shrines of minorities inhabitant in Pakistan besides eliminating the illegal possession of these properties.

In addition, this task force will also put control over the corruption prevalent in ETPB and other related departments.

Pakistan Forms ETPB’s Task Force to Protect Religious Properties of Minorities

 

 

Gent – Gurdwara Mata Sahib Kaur – Nagar Kirtan

Gent Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan
20 April 2019


Sint-Pieters Nieuwstraat – Bagattenstraat

Pyar Kaur/Evi in dastar
Walpoortstraat

20 April 2019


Orange and blue


Her friend is pushing a buggy


In the sangat


Palki Sahib

Gentbrugge – Rattendaal Park
20 April 2019


No cooking !

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Harjinder Singh
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Gent – Gurdwara Mata Sahib Kaur – Nagar Kirtan

Gent Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan
20 April 2019


French Gatka Akhara
Sikh martial arts


French Gatka Akhara


French Gatka Akhara


Sint-Pieters Nieuwstraat – Walpoortstraat


The Sikh flag, Belgian flag, European flag, Flemish flag


Small Sings with small swords

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Gent – Gurdwara Mata Sahib Kaur – Nagar Kirtan

Gent Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan
20 April 2019


Girls with blue Khalsa flags in the lead


We wish you all a happy Vaisakhi


Boys with not very real swords


Khalsa flag, Belgian tri-color, European flag and the Flemish flag


French Gatka players in front of the Vooruit building


Gatka players

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Man in Blue

The News – Workable visa policy for Sikh yatrees soon: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 18 May 2019, Interior Minister Brigadier (retired) Ijaz Ahmad Shah called on Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and discussed various matters, including security situation and implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) in the province during a meeting at the Governor’s House here Friday.

The visa policy for religious tourism besides pilgrimages by the Sikhs from across the world also came under discussion during the meeting.

The governor, speaking on the occasion, said terrorism was not a problem for a political party or a government only rather it was a collective problem of the nation, adding the whole nation was on one page to curb the menace of terrorism under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Sarwar said the government was implementing the NAP in its true letter and spirit and the country would be purged of evil elements through collective efforts of the law enforcement agencies.

He said that the government would ensure foolproof security arrangements on the 550th birth celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak, adding development work under Kartarpur Corridor Plan would get completed before the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

He said the confidence of investors in the economic policies of the PTI government signified the success of the government. The governor said the enemies of peace were, in fact, against prosperity and progress of Pakistan. Sarwar said the incumbent government had taken concrete steps to ensure security of every citizen in the country, adding steps taken by the present government to curb terrorism were unprecedented.

He said the government was taking steps to ensure workable visa policy for the Sikh pilgrims. Later, a delegation of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) led by Regional Chairman Abdul Rauf called on governor.

Sarwar said it was for the first time that the government was protecting each and every penny of the public exchequer and ensuring accountability of those who had plundered the national wealth.

Ch Sarwar said not only Pakistani businessmen but foreign investors were also attracted to invest in Pakistan due to the business-friendly policies of the government while it was facilitating them to invest in Pakistan by eradicating red tapism and enhancing ease of doing business.

Our correspondent adds: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has said the government is aware of the problems being faced by the traders and industrialists, and is taking every possible measure to provide a level-playing field to the business community.

Talking to a delegation of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Lahore regional office led by Abdul Rauf Mukhtar, the regional chairman, at Governor’s House Lahore, the governor appreciated the role being played by the private sector particularly the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry in the country’s economic development.

He said at present tough economic conditions called for taking difficult decisions but the government was committed to improving the economy.

He said reducing the trade deficit was an important component of the government’s strategy by curbing import of unessential and luxury items. The government was also striving to reduce the cost of doing business by ensuring supply of gas at concessional tariff for export-oriented industry, he added.

Abdul Rauf Mukhtar said there was a need to encourage the local industry and reduce imports to give a new direction to the national economy for stability.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/472722-workable-visa-policy-for-sikh-yatrees-soon-governor

The Tribune – PSGPC approves Guru Nanak anniversary coins, stamps

Lahore – Panjab – Pakistan, 16 May 2019. A Pakistan Sikh committee has approved the design for the commemorative coins and postage stamps which will mark Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary in November, according to a media report.

The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) on Wednesday said during a meeting that one side of the coin will have the image of Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib, while the other side will have the words Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the number 550, The Express Tribune reported.

The postage stamps, which will be worth Rs 8 and could be used commonly, will also have the image of Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib and the number 550.

The PSGPC expressed their satisfaction over the preparations made by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (EPTB). For the Sikh pilgrims who will come to the country from across the world makeshift tents will be set up in Nankana Sahib and could accommodate 25,000 pilgrims, the report said.

The year 2019 marks the 550th birth anniversary year of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, whose birthplace is Sri Nankana Sahib in Pakistan.

Last November, both India and Pakistan agreed to set up the Kartarpur corridor to link the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak in Pakistani town of Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.

Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about 4 km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.

The corridor will facilitate visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

Pakistan has committed to open the corridor in November this year on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

EPTB chairman Dr Amir Ahmed assured PSGPC officials that all arrangements will be completed in time for Guru Nanak Devji’s 550th birthday.

Sikh pilgrims from all over the world will be welcomed and provided accommodation and security, he said. He added that special trains will also be made operational for the pilgrims.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/psgpc-approves-guru-nanak-anniversary-coins-stamps/773976.html

Gent – Gurdwara Mata Sahib Kaur – Nagar Kirtan

Gent Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan
20 April 2019


Palki Sahib


Sikh sangat and a man with a bicycle


Panj Piare – The five beloved
In the image of the first five that came forward in 1699


The broom walas


Young mr Singh in a buggy


The Guru’s fauj

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Man in Blue

Gent – Gurdwara Mata Sahib Kaur – Nagar Kirtan

Gent Vaisakhi Nagar Kirtan
20 April 2019


Gurdwara Divan Hall


Gurdwara Divan Hall


The Gatka Jatha


The Gatka Jatha with the horn


Kortrijksepoortstraat
Behind the Palki Sahib


The decorated lorry with the palki sahib

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Harjinder Singh
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Rural Flanders – Aalter Station – Gent Nagar Kirtan

Rural Flanders
19 April 2019


The big fellow


Tulip – not from Amsterdam

Aalter – Aalter Station
19 April 2019


I walked back to Aalter station


Deux Chevaux in mint condition


Aalter Station

Gent Nagar Kirtan
20 April 2019


Panj Piare and the Guru Granth Sahib

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Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue