M A I N   N E W S

Pak nod for 500-room serai at Nankana Sahib
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, September 29
The Government of Pakistan today gave the latest report on the situation at Nankana Sahib to the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) on telephone.

The development was considered significant due to the ongoing bitter relations between the SGPC and Pakistani SGPC. Immediately after taking over as the SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, had reiterated that the shiromani committee did not recognise the PSGPC.

Mr Izhar-ul-Hassan, Additional Secretary, Pakistan Evacuee Properties Trust Board (PEPTB) told The Tribune from Lahore that he had talked to senior functionaries of the SGPC and informed them that the situation at Nankana Sahib was normal and well under control.

Mr Dilmegh Singh, SGPC Secretary, when contacted, confirmed that he had received a telephonic call from Mr Hassan. He, however, said that a delegation of the SGPC, led by Mr Gurpal Singh Gora, Senior Vice-President, would visit Pakistan to assess the situation.

In a significant development, the Government of Pakistan has also allowed the Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal to construct a 500-room serai at the site of the disputed land of Guru Nanak Degree College, Nankana Sahib. After completion of the rooms, the college building would be handed over to gurdwara trust. However, the college would be transferred to a modern building

The Government of Pakistan had agreed, in principle, to hand over nine acres of prime land to gurdwara trust of Nankana Sahib for constructing a serai for Sikh pilgrims on the request of the SAD made last year.

Earlier, the administration of Nankana Sahib had already placed under suspension Mr Abdul Karim, Principal of the college. He had allegedly spread disinformation about the closing of the college which had provoked the students to pelt stones on Sikhs and their business establishments. The Government of Pakistan was taking various measures to win the hearts of the Sikhs after the attack.

Meanwhile, Lieut-Gen Naim Aqbar, Chairman, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC), held a meeting with a delegation of Shiromani Akali Dal, led by Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna in Lahore. General Naim gave formal permission to carry out “kar seva” of Gurdwara Janamasthan Guru Ram Dass, situated at Chuna Mandi (Lahore), which was in dilapidated condition.

The ‘kar seva’ would be carried out as per Sikh maryada through Dera Baba Jagtar Singh (Tarn Taran). The architects, building experts, Baba Amrik Singh, Mr Sarna and senior functionaries of the PSGPC visited the gurdwara site today.

There was proposal to demolish the old building which would be re-constructed on the old pattern. However, Baba Amrik Singh suggested that instead of demolishing the old building, the shrine should be renovated. The Delhi unit of the SAD, agreed in principle to bear all expenses of the ‘kar seva’.

The Sikh delegation would also meet Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, Chief Minister (Western Punjab) tomorrow. The delegation would urge the Chief Minister to ensure safety of Sikhs and their properties in Pakistan.

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