The News – Sikh pilgrims meet PBIT chairman

Islamabad – Pakistan, 20 February 2020. A group of 140 Sikh pilgrims, including socialites and investors living in England, met Chairman Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan at a breakfast here on Wednesday.

They discussed matters of mutual interest, investment and tourism in Pakistan with particular reference to religious tourism.

The Sikhs led by Sardar Ranjit Singh Rana, described the opening of the Kartarpur corridor by the incumbent Government as a great step for the Sikhs.

Sardar Ranjit Singh said that the way Pakistan was focusing on Sikh religious tourism, especially by Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan and his company Centaurus, Pakistan would surely become the best place for tourism. “I have been here three times this year and have been hosted by PBIT chairman”, he said.

He said that the Sikh community was grateful to Prime Minister Imran Khan, his Government, and Chairman PBIT Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan for their gesture.

Speaking on the occasion, Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan said that the way in which Pakistan’s actions regarding religious freedoms are being appreciated in the world is the core spirit of religion of Islam.

Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) emphasized on protection of rights of non-Muslims and made their lives easy,” he said saying that no one could find greater act of tolerance than that.

He said that the honesty and affection shown by Chief of the Army Staff for Navjot Singh Sidhu was widely criticized in India, but General Bajwa fulfilled his promise.” Thanks to their initiative, the dignity of Pakistan has increased in the world,” he said.

He said the Sikh community also stands with Kashmiris all over the world, while it is regrettable that the Modi’s Government attitude towards Muslims in the neighboring country is sad and condemnable.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/616701-sikh-pilgrims-meet-pbit-chairman

PM Imran Khan’s message for Narendra Modi: Justice leads to peace – Injustice breeds anarchy

Faizan Bangash & Sher Ali Khalti

Kartarpur – Panjab – Pakistan, 10 November 2019. With the opening of Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan, the Sikh community in India has been provided easy and direct access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak Devji.

Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, situated in Kartarpur (Shakargarh, Narowal), is the second holiest place for the Sikh community.

While inaugurating the Kartarpur Corridor here on Saturday, Prime Minister Imran Khan termed it a gift for the Sikh community all-over the world, especially those living in India, from the people and Government of Pakistan. He welcomed thousands of Sikh pilgrims from India in Pakistan and urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve the Kashmir issue through dialogue.

Urging his Indian counterpart to give justice to Kashmiris, PM Imran said prosperity in South Asia region was only possible if Kashmir issue was resolved. “It’s just a beginning; let’s hope the relationship between India and Pakistan becomes like it should have been,” added the PM. The premier said Narendra Modi must know that justice brings peace and hatred causes chaos in a society.

He said a leader was the one who brings people together and doesn’t divide them to get their votes through spread of hatred. “When I was elected as the prime minister, I told (Narendra) Modi our biggest problem is poverty.

I told him that if we open our borders, mutual trade will eliminate poverty,” Imran Khan said while addressing the people of both countries at Kartarpur Corridor. He called upon Indian premier to give justice to the people of occupied Kashmir.

Imran said, “Eight million people in occupied Kashmir are being treated like animals. They have been brought under forcible rule of 900,000 Indians troops.” He warned Modi to end injustice as such decisions bring chaos.

He urged the Indian premier to give justice to the people of occupied Kashmir and liberate the Subcontinent. He said the problem of occupied Kashmir had gone beyond a dispute over territory and became a human rights issue.

Once justice was done to Kashmiris and their right to self-determination was given to them, situation of the entire region would improve. “Look at Germany and France, both countries fought wars and killed thousands. Today, their borders are open and trade has brought progress to the region.”

Imran Khan said that justice was only reflected in society of human beings and urged the Indian PM to rid the region of the dispute of Kashmir. The PM also recalled the role of great African statesman Nelson Mandela for playing the role of a leader for his country and uniting the people.

Appreciating the teachings of Baba Guru Nanak Devji in his speech, he said: “There is humanity in the philosophy of Guru Nanak. Humanity is what separates human beings from animals. Our God also talks about humanity and our Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was sent as a blessing for all mankind.”

The PM congratulated the government officials and ministers over swift and on-time completion of the Kartarpur Corridor project. He said, “I learnt a year ago about the value of Kartarpur Sahib. This is the Madina for the Sikhs of the world.”

He said that the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) and other departments and ministries concerned worked diligently and completed the project in just 10 months. He said he did not know fully how efficient and capable his government was.

Addressing the ceremony, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said it was a historic moment for Sikhs. “Imran Khan has created history with Kartarpur Corridor; Kartarpur has been opened for Sikhs from all over the world,” he added.

The foreign minister congratulated the Sikh all over the world on opening of the Kartarpur Corridor and welcomed the Sikh pilgrims present at their holy site. He said, “The doors of Kartarpur Sahib are open for the Sikh community.”

The foreign minister said “we need to see today who was sowing the seeds of hatred in the region”. He congratulated Prime Minister Imran Khan on the opening of the historic corridor.

Qureshi said, “09 November was also the day when the Berlin Wall fell, which changed the map of Europe”.

The foreign minister said, “If the Kartarpur Corridor can open, then the LoC’s temporary closure can also be ended.”

He said that the way the doors of Kartarpur have been opened, the doors of Srinagar’s Jama mosque should also be opened so that Muslims could pray the Friday prayers there.

Even Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also forced to thank Prime Minister Imran Khan over opening of the Kartarpur Corridor. Speaking at an event, Modi said Prime Minister Imran had understood the emotions of the Indian people. “I would like to thank the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, for understanding the sentiments of the people of India,” he said.

He said that it had become easier for Sikh pilgrims to go to Guru Nanak’s Gurdwara because of the corridor. “I would like to thank the authorities in Pakistan who helped create this corridor in a short span of time,” he said.

“Imran Khan has made history,” said Navjot Singh Sidhu at the inaugural ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor. He termed it an ointment on the wounds of people who witnessed bloodshed during the Partition.

He called Imran Khan the ‘king of hearts’. He said Alexander the Great had won hearts of people because of fear, while Imran Khan won hearts of people by promoting peace.

He thanked Imran Khan for taking a bold step. He said for the first time in the history, boundaries between the two countries have been dismantled. “No one can deny the contribution of Imran Khan,” said Sidhu and sent Munna Bhai MBBS’s hug for Modi.

He demanded opening of borders so that people could have their breakfast in India, their lunch in Lahore and then return to their homes in India after completing their trade and business tasks.

Former Indian prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Chief Minister of Indian Punjab Captain Amarinder Singh, Bollywood actor and Indian parliamentarian Sunny Deol, Panjab CM Sardar Usman Buzdar, Panjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and other noted figures were also present on the occasion.

Sikh Yatris from different cities of India including Amristsar, Ambala, Patiala, Jalandhar, Gurdaspur, Chandigarh, Delhi as well as from different nations like Canada, USA, France, England, Sweden were present at the inauguration ceremony.

While expressing their views, Yatris unanimously hailed the project and expressed the hope that further relaxation would also be given to them so that they could visit Panjab as per their will.

Besides, the Sikh community members from Pakistan including former MPA Ramesh Singh Arora, sitting MPA Mahender Pal Singh and others also lauded the role of Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa in successful completion of the project.

Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Noorul Haq Qadri also addressed the ceremony.

He said the inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor was the greatest message of peace after the Partition in 1947. He said the prime minister had fulfilled his commitment to provide access to Sikh community to visit their holy shrines.

He said while being in Baghdad, Baba Guru Nanak used to visit the shrine of Imam Musa Kazim daily which gave a message of harmony as he had devoted his life for peace and harmony.

The Akal Takht Jathedar, Giani Harpreet Singh said by opening of Kartarpur Corridor, the 70-year old demand of Sikhs had been fulfilled for what they were thankful to both the governments.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/553558-imran-s-message-for-modi-justice-leads-to-peace-injustice-breeds-anarchy

Sikh24.com – Kartarpur Corridor $20 fee: Punjab government and SGPC should share financial burden of pilgrims who couldn’t afford

Sikh24 Editors

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 21 October 2019. The Dal Khalsa has today urged the Punjab government and the SGPC to equally share the financial burden of pilgrims who couldn’t afford $20 fee proposed by Pakistan for visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib through Kartarpur Sahib corridor.

At the same time, the organization has also urged the Pakistan government to reduce the fee to a level that economically weak pilgrims could easily afford the pilgrimage.

“We urge the SGPC and Panjab government to work out modalities and bear the expenses of a pilgrim, who could not afford but desire to have darshan deedare of Guru Nanak’s place”, reads a statement by the Dal Khalsa.

“On the other hand, Pakistan administration too needs to reduce the fee to half,” it added.

Party spokesperson Kanwar Pal Singh said the stalemate on the matter was unfortunate. He hailed the Pakistan PM Imran Khan for honoring its commitment on completing the corridor project despite heightened tension with India after New Delhi took retrograde step and strip J&K of its autonomous status unilaterally.

He chided the Indian government and its political stooges in Punjab for precipitating the issue to a level of name calling. Indian government should keep in mind that it had levied GST on langar items despite strong opposition from Sikh institutions, said he.

He further said if Punjab government could bear the entire costs of boarding and lodging of all pilgrims from Amritsar, Talwandi Sabo and Anandpur Sahib to Hazoor Sahib in 2015-2016, under the Tirath Yatra Scheme, there was no point in denying it to pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib.

He urged former minister Navjot Singh Sidhu to come out of political wilderness and take active part in inauguration ceremony on both side as those who had no role or negative role were claiming the credit of Kartarpur corridor.

“People of Punjab have not forgotten the role of Sidhu as it was he, who brought the cheerful message that was awaited since decades from across the border”, said he.

Kartarpur Corridor $20 fee: Punjab government and SGPC should share financial burden of pilgrims who couldn’t afford

The Hindu – Sidhu remarks affected Congress in Bathinda

Performance of all Ministers including Sidhu will be reviewed, he says

Special Correspondent

Chandigarh – Panjab – India,  24 May 2019. The Congress may have been in the driver’s seat in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll in Punjab, yet Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday took a dig at his Cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu saying he would soon take up with the party high command his damaging remarks ahead of polling, which might have affected the party’s performance in Bathinda.

He said the performance of the Ministers would be reviewed in the backdrop of the results. “We will review the performance. It was not a veiled threat made by the party before the elections,” he said at a press conference here.

Though he refused to comment directly on the possible impact of Mr Sidhu’s comments, Captain Amarinder said “as a Minister, Sidhu’s own performance needs to be reviewed”. Asserting that Mr. Sidhu had not been able to handle his department, the Chief Minister made it clear that he intended to take up the issue with the high command.

“The Congress in Punjab performed poorly in urban areas and Sidhu is the Minister for Urban Development,” Captain Amarinder said.

https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/sidhu-remarks-affected-cong-in-bathinda/article27229372.ece