Wednesday, November 27, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

PM may lodge protest with Pak
Anti-India propaganda by radical Sikhs
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 26
Even as the “five most wanted” radical Sikh leaders were conspicuous by their absence during Gurpurb celebrations in Pakistan, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is likely to lodge a protest with Gen Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, for allowing certain foreign-based Sikhs to carry out propaganda against India.

Apart from intelligence inputs, Mr Vajpayee has received a detailed report from the Vice-Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, Mr Tarlochan Singh, about the propaganda unleashed at the behest of the Pakistan Government and the ISI.

Mr Tarlochan Singh has also reported to the Prime Minister to ensure restoration of “maryada” in Sikh shrines of Pakistan. He enclosed news clippings from The Tribune, which intensively covered the visit of the Sikh Jatha. He alleged that neither the Pakistan Government nor the Evacuee Trust Property Board was showing any interest in maintaining “maryada” in gurdwaras there, which had hurt the sentiments of Sikhs.

“The Sikh community wants that all historical gurdwaras in Pakistan should be properly preserved as these have been neglected after Partition,” he said.

Mr Tarlochan Singh urged Mr Vajpayee to help in relaxing visa norms to facilitate Sikh pilgrims’ visit to their shrines.

In a separate letter to Mr Yashwant Sinha, Foreign Minister, Mr Tarlochan Singh alleged that the Pakistan Government, especially General Musharraf, had encouraged Sikh leaders, known for their role as protagonists of the Khalistan movement, during Gurpurb celebrations at Nankana Sahib.

In a letter to Mr Lal Krishan Advani, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Tarlochan Singh said the role of the Pakistan Government to encourage anti-India elements was objectionable, which proved that Pakistan was out to promote Sikh separatist groups.

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