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Sikhs in Pakistan Raise Anti-India Slogans to Protest over Jatha Issue

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  • It is an attempt to protest against the refusal of India to allow the Jathas from visiting Pakistan for commemorating Gurpurbs
  • The silence of SGPC regarding this issue might have caused the severe concern, PSGPC stated

Amritsar, July 09, 2017: Some Sikh groups have raised anti-India slogans under the protection of the committee of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak along with the Evacuee Trust Property Board. It is an attempt to protest against the refusal of India to allow the Jathas from visiting Pakistan for commemorating Gurpurbs.

Tara Singh, the chief of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, stated that the area of the protest is restricted only 1000 meters from the zero-line. Hence, it was decided that it could be conducted at the Press Club of Lahore, mentioned The Tribune report.

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300 pilgrims including some elderly women were on their way to commemorate the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, on 28th June. They were leaving in a special train and in spite of possessing visas, the passengers were stuck at the Attari railway station.

The president of the Bhai Mardana Society, Harpal Singh Bullar, was reported as claiming that the visas of 240 passengers were procured and the train was ready to reach the area of Pakistan but did not get the clearance to reach Attari.

The representatives of PSGPC kept waiting for the pilgrims with Langar on their side, while the Sikh passengers faced humiliation and harassment due to the downpour at the Attari railway station, The Tribune has reported.

The silence of SGPC regarding this issue might have caused the severe concern, PSGPC stated. Tara Singh was quoted as saying that he appeals to the SGPC to take a stand against the government.

– prepared by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC
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Pakistan And India To Construct a ‘Peace Corridor’

Indian pilgrims currently must seek visas to enter Pakistan and travel more than 200 kilometers to visit the Kartarpur shrine.

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Indian Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, third left, stands for the national anthem during the foundation stone-laying ceremony for the planned road corridor to the Pakistan border, at Dera Baba Nanak,. VOA

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will lay the foundation stone Wednesday for what is dubbed as a cross-border “corridor of peace” to allow religious devotees from India’s minority Sikh community to make free visits to one of their holiest gurdwaras, or temples, on the Pakistani side after more than seven decades.

The temple, known as Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, is considered to be the first temple ever built and the final resting place of Guru Nanak, the Sikhism founder.

Indian leaders, on behalf of the Sikh community, have long been demanding Islamabad provide unrestricted access to the holy site in Kartarpur, in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

India’s and Pakistan’s independence from Britain in 1947 divided the Punjab province, where Sikhism was born.

Imran Khan, Sikh
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is seen during talks in Beijing, China. VOA

Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu performed the groundbreaking Monday on his side of the corridor at a ceremony just two kilometers from the Pakistani border.

The mutually agreed-to project is rare between the two nuclear-armed South Asian rivals. Historically strained ties have deteriorated in recent years and bilateral official talks remain suspended.

The fenced corridor of about five kilometers aims to connect the Kartarpur temple to the Sikh holy shrine at Dara Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district. Officials say the corridor will be in place for the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak’s birth in November 2019.

Khan’s government has invited, among others, Indian officials and journalists for Wednesday’s groundbreaking in Kartarpur, three kilometers from the border with India. An Indian ministerial-level delegation is expected to attend the ceremony as special envoys of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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A Delhi-based Sikh organization Urges UN to Support Turbans as Religious Symbol. Pixabay

“Pakistan calls this a corridor of peace. I call it the corridor of infinite possibilities of peace,” Indian Punjab provincial minister Navjot Singh Sidhu told reporters shortly after arriving in Pakistan for the ceremony. He crossed the border by foot at the Wagah crossing near the eastern Pakistan city of Lahore to attend the event at the invitation of his friend, Prime Minister Khan.

Members of the Sikh community on both sides have welcomed the construction of the cross-border corridor linking the two holy sites.

Indian pilgrims currently must seek visas to enter Pakistan and travel more than 200 kilometers to visit the Kartarpur shrine. The temple is visible on clear days from a viewing stage on the Indian side, where religious devotees gather every day to have a glimpse of it.

Also Read: Vow To Hold Peace Talks With India: Pakistan’s Prime Minster Imran Khan

India and Pakistan have fought three wars, and mutual tensions often hamper pilgrims’ plans to get timely visas to visit the shrine. Two of those wars have been over the disputed Kashmir region, which remains at the center of tensions. (VOA)