Friday, November 22, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

No President invite for Pakhoke
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Islamabad, November 21
In a significant development, President Pervez Musharraf today held a closed-door meeting with representatives of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and US and UK-based radical Sikh leaders. The meeting lasted 40 minutes.

Interestingly, neither Mr Alwinder Paul Singh Pakhoke, senior vice-president of the SGPC who led the jatha of 52 pilgrims, nor any other Indian Sikh leader was invited for the meeting.

Though the Sikh leaders refused to divulge what transpired at the meeting, sources said General Musharraf agreed in principle to convert Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak Dev into a Model Town. He also agreed to a face lift to Sikh shrines in Pakistan.

In another development, he offered to give due representation to Pakistani Sikhs in government jobs. Not even a single Pakistani Sikh holds a government post.

Sikh leaders from other countries, including Mr Gurmeet Singh Aulakh, president of the US-based Khalistan Council, Mr Manmohan Singh Khalsa, UK-based Dal Khalsa leader, Dr Ganga Singh Dhillon, president of the Nankana Sahib Foundation (USA), Mr Avtar Singh Sanghera, UK-based Babbar Khalsa leader, Mr Lodhi, president of the World Muslim-Sikh Federation, and Mr Sahib Singh Peshawar, Mr Mastan Singh and Mr Naam Singh, all Pakistani Sikhs, attended the meeting.



16 pilgrims hurt

Islamabad, November 21
Sixteen pilgrims were injured, with two of them losing an eye each, during a fireworks display marking the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev at his birthplace.

They were provided with medical treatment in a dispensary at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib after the Tuesday night accident, an APP report said. The injured including three women, it added. UNI


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