Sunday, November 12, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Tarar promises Sikhs facilities
Khalistani leaders honoured
From Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

NANKANA SAHIB (Pakistan), Nov 11 — The Government of Pakistan has promised to provide all types of facilities to minorities, especially Sikhs, living in Pakistan.

This was announced by Mr Rafiq Tarar, President of Pakistan, while addressing a congregation on the 531st birth anniversary of the first Sikh master, Guru Nanak Dev, at his birthplace here today.

He claimed the Government of Pakistan had formed the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) for speedy development of Sikh shrines in Pakistan. Mr Rafiq, who read his written speech in chaste Punjabi, said the Sikhs could see for themselves that the gurdwaras in Pakistan had witnessed unprecedented development after the formation of the PSGPC. “Now the PSGPC is yours”, he said.

Though the top leadership of the Dal Khalsa International, the Khalistan Commando Force, the Babbar Khalsa International and the International Sikh Youth Federation, who have taken asylum in Pakistan, were seen in the gurdwara premises, they did not address the congregation in the presence of the President.

However, slogans like “Khalistan zindabad”, “India quit Punjab, Kashmir” were written at the main gate of the gurdwara. Pro-Khalistan leaders from the United Kingdom, the USA, Malaysia, Canada and Germany were honoured by Mr Rafiq Tarar.

Former Akal Takht Jathedar, Prof Darshan Singh, speaking on the occasion, criticised the SGPC for imposing a ban on sending jathas to Pakistan.

He said the SGPC and the PSGPC both had been maintaining gurdwaras and a way out must be found so that the Sikh “sangat” from all over the world, including India, could have free access to Sikh shrines in Pakistan.

Gen Jawed Nasir, Chairman, Mr Sham Singh, Co-Chairman, PSGPC, Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, a former President, Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee, Baba Mangal Singh, President, Sant Samaj, Dr Ganga Singh Dhillon, Mr Manmohan Singh of the Dal Khalsa, Dr Gurmit Singh Aulakh and several pro-Khalistan leaders were honoured in the presence of Mr Tarar.


Gurpurb celebrated, PM given ‘siropa’
Tribune News Service

NEW DELHI, Nov 11 — The 531st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervour here today.

Thousands of devotees participated in the main congregation held at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj Sahib where prominent “ragis”, “dhadis” and preachers performed.

The Secretary-General of the Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Kuldeep Singh Bhogal, led prominent Sikh leaders and presented a siropa and a photograph of Guru Nanak Dev to the Prime Minister at his residence.

Mr Vajpayee extended greetings to people and asked them to follow the teachings of the Guru.

Union Home Minister L.K. Advani, Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj, Lt-Governor Vijai Kapoor, Vice-Chancellor of Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University K.K. Aggarwal, and members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), among others, were also present at the gurdwara.

A “langar” was also served.

Addressing the congregation, Jathedar Avtar Singh Hit, President DSGMC, said matters regarding lands of Gurdwara Majnu Tilla and Gurdwara Bala Sahib had been solved with the cooperation of the Prime Minister and Mr Advani.

A cheque for Rs 5 lakh was presented to Baba Harbans Singh Ji Karsewawale for the construction of a site of Bhai Dharam Singh ji at Hastinapur in Meerut.

A cheque for Rs 21,000 and a siropa was presented to Dr Harbans Singh ji Chawla for his book, “Punjab de Komi Shaheed”.

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