P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Implement oil refinery project, PM urged
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 21
Eminent residents, social activists, and heads of various organisations have urged the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh to implement the Punjab oil refinery project.

These persons, including Ms Paramjit Kaur Gulshan, MP, Mr Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu, MLA, Talwandi Sabo, Mr Bharpur Singh, Manager, Takht Damdama Sahib and Mr Gurnam Singh Rekhi, former Chairman, Railway Recruitment Board, have urged Dr Manmohan Singh that the oil refinery, which was to be set up in the name of Guru Gobind Singh, was the only way to give a boost to the economy of Punjab.

They pointed out that the oil refinery project was an important part of an economic package for Punjab which was announced by the then Prime Minister, Mr P.V. Narasimha Rao with an aim of providing impetus to the industrial development of the state.

The project was cleared by the previous BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. The Hindustan Petroleum Corporation was asked to execute the project in a joint venture or on its own. The then prime minister, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee laid the foundation stone of the project at Phulokhari village of this district on November 13, 1998.

The previous SAD-BJP combine government led by Mr Parkash Singh Badal offered certain incentives to the project under the state policy so that project could be implemented within its scheduled time as it was being perceived as an indispensable mean for the industrial, economic and social growth of Punjab in general and Bathinda in particular.

They said the new Congress government of Punjab led by Capt. Amarinder Singh took time to convey its inability to honour the commitments made by the previous SAD-BJP combine government in connection with the extending of certain concessions to the HPCL for implementing the project.

The state government should discuss the issue afresh with the HPCL to find out a solution to ensure that such mega project was not wasted because of denial of possible concessions by the union or state government.

Mr Rekhi, former Chairman, Railway Recruitment Board (RRB), said it was the right time when all those, who had been feeling concerned about the development of the Bathinda region should come on a common platform to make efforts to make oil refinery project a reality. He added that the HPCL had already spent more than Rs 300 crores on this project. The money was spent on the acquisition of about 200 acres of land, raising its boundary wall and gradation of land.


Release of Bt cotton varieties sought
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 21
Punjab Agricultural University scientists have sought early official release of Bt cotton varieties to save farmers of northern region from being fleeced by the seed traders of other states who have been allegedly selling spurious and unauthorised Bt cotton seed at higher rates.

Punjab Agricultural University scientists claim that trials on various Bt cotton varieties have been conducted for three years in collaboration with the ICAR and the results have been encouraging. The Punjab Government last year sought the release of Bt cotton varieties tested by PAU but the Central Government and the ICAR insisted on trials for one more year. The northern region comprising Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and parts of UP has no official Bt cotton for sowing in this region and the cotton-growers purchased seed of unauthorised varieties from Gujarat and Maharashtra at a higher rate.

Dr G.S. Chahal, Additional Director Research, Punjab Agricultural University told this reporter here today that during the current season, many farmers purchased the seed from the unknown sources in spite of strong advice from the Punjab Agricultural University against unauthorised introduction of Bt cotton. As expected many of these farmers were cheated by unscrupulous seed traders who sold all sort of seed under the brand name of Bt cotton, said Dr Chahal. Such farmers suffered heavy losses. Dr chahal pointed out that the cotton growers were very enthusiastic about cultivation of Bt cotton as they had seen the performance of some of the genuine Bt cotton varieties. It was learnt that some of the farmers had started approaching seed traders in Gujarat for supply of Bt cotton seed in the next crop season even without any recommendation of PAU. ‘It is anybody’s guess what would be the status of such unapproved Bt cotton seed in the next crop season and which might cause serious loss to farmers as well as the cotton crop of the state, he warned. Dr Chahal has advised cotton growers not to buy such seed unless authenticated recommendation was made by the university for cultivation of Bt cotton in the state.

Dr Chahal emphasised that it would be appropriate that a decision regarding the release of Bt cotton varieties for northern region was taken at the earliest to save farmers from being fleeced and falling prey to the unscrupulous traders of seeds.

Cotton has emerged as an important cash crop of Punjab for which the state has been leading the country for several years. Punjab had a record area of several lakh hectares in 1988-99, a record production of 24.5 lakh bales in 1989-90 and a record productivity of 607 kg lints per hectare in 1991-92. But the state received a setback in the cotton production during the past one decade when the production fell to 10 lakh bales. It was only during the past two years that the cotton production started improving and the Punjab state was on its way to achieving lost glory in the production of white gold.

The current cotton crop year is exceptionally good and the overall production is likely to cross 16 lakh bales.

However, prices have crashed and the cotton growers of the state have been agitating against the same. The cotton prices this year have fallen by Rs 800 to Rs 1000 per quintal compared with the prices last year.

Punjab Agricultural University also helped cotton growers with new technology when the sowing was advanced to the month of April against June. This brought dividends and the dry weather during the monsoon last year also helped in raising a bumper cotton crop not only in Punjab but the whole of northern region. Even otherwise, cotton production in the country will be at an all time high and may touch 210 lakh bales, according to sources.


Netaji was not killed in crash, claims his personal secy
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 21
Netaji Subhas Chander Bose was not killed in an aircrash and the British knew about this. They made several attempts to locate him in Thailand and other parts of the world.

This claim was made by Seth Trilok Singh Chawla, personal secretary of Netaji in Thailand, while talking to TNS here toady.

He is here to participate in Dr Gopal Singh Memorial Lecture being organised by Guru Nanak Dev University here tomorrow. Mr Fakhar Zaman, president, World Punjabi Organisation, will deliver the lecture.

Seth Chawla says he has in his possession two pistols of Netaji which the latter handed over before leaving Thailand for Singapore.

Seth Chawla says the late Indira Gandhi had asked him to hand over the pistols to the government, which he had refused.

Giving a twist to historical events, Seth Chawla said that a few days after the mysterious death of Netaji, Lieut-Col Finnay (chief of the British CID staff in Kolkata) visited Thailand to make an inquiry and chargesheet Indians in Thailand for waging a war against the British Government and helping Netaji.

He claimed that Colonel Finnay, who later became his friend, had indicated that Netaji could be alive and that he was not killed in a plane crash.

Seth Chawla is now writing his memoirs on the persuasion of the Prime Minister.

He is the first Indian in Thailand to have been honoured with the prestigious “White Elephant Award” by the King of Thailand and Gold Medal Crown.


Trade pacts to be signed during visit of Elahi

Jalandhar, November 21
Media adviser to Choudhary Parvej Elahi, Chief Minister of Punjab (Pakistan), Mohabbat Shuja Rana yesterday said that during the proposed visit of the CM some important trade agreements would be signed between the two Punjabs.

“Choudhary Elahi, who will visit Punjab for the Indo-Pak (Punjabs) Games to be held in the first week of next month, will sign some trade agreements with his counterpart Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh,” Mr Rana who was here as part of a Pakistani delegation to participate in the Indo-Pak cultural festival “Sanjh Dilan Di” said.

He claimed the proposed signing of MoU would begin a new era in the field of resumption of economic ties between the two countries.

“Since our CM is also a well-known industrialist of Pakistan, he has already chalked out a blueprint for resumption of trade ties between both Punjabs,” he said.

Even in other fields, some significant policy decisions were expected to be taken during the proposed visit, he said.

Asked about the details of the proposed agreements, without revealing the same, he said these would be on the pattern of trade MoUs signed by Choudhary Elahi with the Chinese province of Ziang Su. — PTI


Poverty biggest rights violation, says Nayar
Tribune Reporters

Amritsar, November 21
Journalist Kuldip Nayar has said poverty was the biggest violation of human rights.

Addressing the valedictory function of the international human rights conference which concluded here today, he said the world was facing a challenge as the poor were suffering.

Launching a tirade against the economically advanced nations which were “controlling the wealth” and also producing weapons of mass destruction, he said 70 per cent of the world was being deprived of food, clothing and housing.

Cautioning developing nations where economic liberalisation and reforms had been set in motion, he said policies with a human face should be launched.

He said Mahatma Gandhi had given importance to the means rather than the end. Vitiated means only vitiated ends as in the recent case of the US attack on Iraq.

He said a balance between the world’s enormous wealth and the poor must be worked out.

Religion could have played a positive role but that too had been confined to gurdwaras, temples and other shrines, he said.

Earlier, the general secretary of the DAV College Managing Committee, Mr M.L. Khanna, said today’s man had to redesign his life as he could not live as a machine devoid of feelings.

Rights activists, educationists and other resource persons, include Dr Praniti Panda, NCERT, Prof Vijayalakshmi, Dr R.P. Dholakia, Dr Shakuntala Nagpal, Dr O.P. Dhiman and Ms Masumeh Rezapour, were honoured on the occasion.


Aryans steal hearts of faujis
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 21
Strains of songs wafting through the November nip…faujis jiving away to pulsating music…models sashaying on the stage. The evening was a heady combination of the swinging 70s music, a whiff of patriotic flavour and a scintillating display of attitude-flaunting haute couture.

Aryans Live fashion show and dance performance organised by the AWWA Vajra Corps, Jalandhar cantonment, last evening kept the audience mesmerised.

Songs rendered by Aryans touched upon the whole gamut of human emotions. As the evening wore off and the singing reached its crescendo, the group invited the audience to join them.

Interacting with the faujis, Aryans asked them about their home states. The singers willingly let the focus be shifted from them to the enthused faujis.

A few Punjabi numbers, too, were sung during the show, in view the audience’s demand. Initially, Sadu and Narayan joked that with their non-Punjabi accent, they might “maul” the songs. But the audience, in no mood to budge, demanded foot-tapping Punjabi numbers. And the singers abided by their wishes.

The highlight of the evening was “Sandeshey aatee hain” song from the movie “Border”. It was, perhaps, the déjà vu affect of the song that swayed the audience.

“The song speaks volumes about the Army life. It’s a touching song. When we are posted at border areas, we are cut off from the actualities of life. At that time, a seemingly inconsequential thing like a letter becomes the pivot of our existence,” Major U.K. Vaish told The Tribune.

The objective of the show was to give some moments of fun to the duty-encumbered jawans and officers. “Army people miss out on many things. Our officers felt there was a need to have some kind of variety programme at the cantonment. So, they organised this show,” an officer said.


24 farmers held in pre-dawn raids
Our Correspondent

Tarn Taran, November 21
The police has resorted to pre-dawn crackdown on farmers yesterday to thwart the agitation call given by farmer organisations of November 22 to organise dharnas and demonstrations at district headquarters in the state.

The demands include the restoration of free water and electricity to farmers, payment of surgarcane of the last two years, withdrawal of all cases registered against farmers and release all farmers lodged in jails during the past more than 18 days.

Mr Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu, convener of the Kisan Sangharash committee, told this correspondent here today that the police had arrested more than 24 farmers in raids at different places and the raids are continuing to make more arrests.

Mr Pannu said though the state government bowing to the pressure built by the farmers organisations and released all agitating women lodged in jails, the government should explain why these women put in jails for18 days for no fault. Mr Pannu said though the police had arrested more than 24 farmers, the repression would make no effect on their agitation tomorrow.


Inside Babudom
Most bureaucrats welcome PM’s directive on retirement
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 21
The new directive of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, for no extension to bureaucrats beyond their retirement age of 60 years has mostly been appreciated in bureaucratic circles here.

After the Union Government raised the retirement age from 58 to 60 a few years ago, majority of requests for extension in service were turned down by the Establishment Office in the Prime Ministers' Secretariat. A few, however, were approved.

Interestingly, a number of bureaucrats in Punjab got plum positions in various boards, corporations and other organisations after their superannuation.

"There should be no extension in service after 60," say many of the serving bureaucrats interviewed by The Tribune. A few even suggest that appointment of senior bureaucrats to boards and corporations should be done while they are still in service and they should also retire on turning 60.

The beneficiaries include Mr A.S. Chatha, Mr R.R. Bhardwaj, Mr S.S. Boparai, Mr R.S. Mann, Mr N.K. Arora, Mr C.L. Bains, Mr Y.S. Ratra, Mr GPS Sahi, Mr S.K. Naik, Mr N.N. Khanna, Mr Niranjaan Singh, Mr Bhagat Singh and Mr K.R. Nair.

Four of them - Mr A.S. Chatha, Mr R.S. Mann, Mr N.K. Arora and Mr Y.S. Ratra - had superannuated as Chief Secretaries. While Mr YS Ratra was made Chairman of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Mr Mann had been appointed Chairman of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission. Mr N.K. Arora was nominated Member of the State Human Rights Commission and Mr Chatha was recently named Chairman of the State Finance Commission.

Most of these appointments are for terms from three to five years.

While in Punjab, there are not many retired bureaucrats appointed to head universities as Vice-Chancellors, the practice is very common in neighbouring Haryana State. In Punjab, only Mr Swaran Singh Boparai is the Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University.

There is, however. some ambiguity as to whether the new directive is also applicable to re-employing superannuated bureaucrats or not. Appointing retired bureaucrats in various boards and corporations is the prerogative of the State Government and as such it needs no clearance either from the Cabinet Committee on Appointments or the Establishment Office of the Prime Ministers' Secretariat.

Only a few of these beneficiaries have been appointed by the Central Government. Mr S.K. Naik, for example, is member of the Central Administrative Tribunal. Similarly, Mr N.N. Khanna is the Chairman-cum-Managing Director of India Trade Promotion Organisation.


National Museum helps Punjab conserve heritage
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 21
Director (Conservation), National Museum, New Delhi, S.P. Singh is at the heart of several prestigious art conservation projects in India.

This ace conservationist, who recently supervised restoration work of the famous “Qajar painting” at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, is now developing interventions for preservation of art objects peculiar to Punjab.

In Amritsar yesterday to attend the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture (INTACH) session on the Conservation of Amritsar’s heritage, Mr Singh talked to The Tribune about Punjab’s priceless artifacts that needed urgent attention.

Comparing Amritsar to historical cities of Ujjain, Kashi and Benaras, Mr Singh said the National Museum recently trained 25 volunteers from Punjab in the art of reserving heritage objects.

He himself designed a conservation project for the rare textiles of this region, which also boasts of a rich artillery collection.

Presently handling the restoration of rare paintings in the Central Hall of Parliament in Delhi, Mr Singh also supervised two other significant projects.

These include the training of 30 Indian Air Force men in the preservation of rare regimental collections in India and the training of 50 Lamas in the preservation of 500 monasteries across Ladakh.

At hand now is the conservation of India’s first oil painter Raja Ravi Verma’s works, says Mr Singh, while also mentioning his concerns in Punjab.

“Punjab has an unmatched collection of heritage objects like cannons, arms and ammunition. Then there are textiles and manuscripts currently in private possession across the country. People are not aware about how to conserve these collections, where to depict them and how to study the history behind them,” said Mr Singh, pointing towards the neglect of Medals Gallery in Patiala.

Terming each of these medals collected by Maharaja Patiala as the “Kohinoors of Punjab”, Mr Singh said there was an urgent need to save them as there is to preserve unique architectural features in the old walled city of Amritsar.

Stressing the need to develop a museum at the local level, he said more and more museums were coming up all over India.

“We now have Airplane and Botanical Museums. This trend explains why conservation strategies are becoming increasingly important these days. For our part, we train people in art conservation, as and when the demand arises,” said Mr Singh whose suggestions regarding conservation of Punjab’s artifacts formed a valuable part of the INTACH seminar later.

As the seminar on “conserving city heritage” concluded today, some important points were raised.

The most vital were identification of tourism potential in specific areas; use of battery operated and eco-friendly vehicles for access to inner lanes leading to the Golden Temple and special training of labour for the repair of old buildings in the city.

Today’s speakers were Prof Meenakshi, Lecturer in Architecture, GND varsity, who highlighted the aesthetics of Khalsa College, Amritsar; Mr Jeet Kumar Gupta, former Chief Town Planner, Chandigarh and Mr B.S. Sekhon, Lecturer in Planning, GND varsity who suggested ways of preserving city heritage.

Mr Gopal Johri, also from Planning Department, GND varsity, suggested how building bylaws could be changed to prevent further damage to structures in the walled city.

At another venue, puppetry and painting workshop was held for children today. Another highlight of the celebration was Odissi recital by Madhavi Mudgal and vocal recital by Dr Girija Devi.


Abida sings peace
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Begam Abida Parveen
Begam Abida Parveen

Amritsar, November 21
Like her music, Abida Parveen belongs to everywhere. A natural heir to the throne of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, she stakes no claim in the material world where conflict almost always triumphs over love. Hers is a spiritual mission of Sufism, which is all about planting love in the heart of hatred.

In her pursuit, Abida has done well, well enough to earn a following across the world. In Amritsar today to offer her music during the ongoing heritage festival, the mystic spoke exclusively to The Tribune about her journey from the shrines of Larkana in Sind (Pakistan) to the world stage, where she sings of virgin pain and spiritual bliss.

She begins with a prayer of peace between India and Pakistan, reminding us of a common heritage. “We are bound by the legacy of Sufi saints. We have Hazrat Baba Fariddudin; you have Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia and Amir Khusro. There is so much I need to learn from India,” says the singer who regularly sources poetic texts of Sufis from India.

Among her Indian friends is filmmaker Muzaffar Ali with whom she is working on a global film on the life of the 13th century Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi.

In awe of Rumi, the most read poet saint in the USA, Abida says, “ Singing him is a challenge, especially when the song is meant for the medium of cinema. Every medium has its own dynamics. Stage is a personal space where you can connect with the audience and transmit your energy to them. But cinema is different. It demands more imagination that you may possess,” Abida says about the film that features Hollywood legend Al Pacino.

For her part, she is promoting peace through music. Averse to the divisions of hearts in the name of language and religion, she hails the role of Sufism in ushering peace. “Sufism is a portrayal of humanism and of humility. Its basic premise in that love is the way to God, that human love mirrors divine love and that this relationship is a tool for the evolution of our consciousness.

For us, Sufi music is a medium for human souls to approach the divine. Why else would a Dutch respond when I sing verses in Persian?”

Steeped in Sufism from childhood, Abida took early lessons in music from her father Ghulam Haider, a music teacher. “He spotted my talent and ensured that it bloomed. I grew in the worthy company of Sufi saints, attending musical conferences in shrines. Soon I discovered that God had chosen me to spread His word. That’s what I’m doing,” says Abida Parveen, who regularly sings at the dargah of her beloved saint, Mohammad Sultan Haq Bahu.

Professionally, Abida’s career took off after her marriage to Ghulam Hussain, a senior producer in Radio Pakistan. She began by rendering ghazals on the radio. As her popularity shot, she demanded a slot for Sufi poetry on the national TV channel. Abida recalls: “I did 14 episodes on sufiana qalaam. For the first time Sufi poetry, earlier restricted to Multan, Sind and other places, travelled across divides. Today, the soulful strains of Sufi saints belong not in Seraiki, Persian or Multani, but in the universal language of love.”

Also a prolific singer, Abida recently recorded “Shahju Risala” featuring 30 musical narrations of Sufi saint Hazrat Shah Abulatif Bhitai, another of Abida’s beloved saints. She is now working on the dohas of Kabir and the Sufiana references in Guru Granth Sahib.


Few residents turn up for “Heritage Walk”
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Madhavi Mudgal troupe impresses

Famed Odissi exponent Madhavi Mudgal and her troupe regaled the audience at Khalsa College last evening. Also trained in bharatnatyam, Madhavi Mudgal later turned to Odissi.

With tutelage from celebrated gurus like Hare Krishna Bahera and Kelucharan Mahapatra, Madhavi gained command over pure dance in Odissi, which charmed her with its immense ornamental value. Glimpses of her perfection in “nrita” and “abhinaya” were reflected in abundance during her recital at Khalsa College. She was here to participate in the second Amritsar Heritage festival.

Daughter of Vinay Chandra Maudgalya, founder of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, New Delhi, Madhavi has herself raised a fine nursery of talent in the field of Odissi. She has been particularly interested in blending traditional sensibilities with the contemporary and weaving a rich tapestry by way of ballets.

Amritsar, November 21
Launched amidst much fanfare during the heritage festival last year, the “Heritage Walk” drew a lukewarm response this time. Organised this morning, the one-and-a-half-hour walk through heritage locations of the old walled city witnessed few locals, even as many remained confused over the walk schedule.

Whereas last year, the “Heritage Walk” was organised on all days of the festival, this time the district administration included it for a single day. Just as the locals were confused over the mode of entry (free or pass) to the music and dance recitals at Khalsa College here, they remained confused over the timings of the “Heritage Walk.”

Some of them told The Tribune that they had expected the walk to be flagged off on the first day of the festival. Since that did not happen, they remained unaware of its schedule. The result was for all to see this morning when DC Raminder Singh started off the rally at Jallianwala Bagh. In fact, one can’t say he flagged off the walk because there was no flag.

Although the administration and the local INTACH members were present, taking the participants number to 30, there were few residents. Another sore point was filth and squalor all over the route. People did not now where to look — whether at the aesthetic elements of the historic buildings or at the garbage dumps every step.

The local MC would have done well to clear the route. For its part, the Administration did all it could to ensure the walk was a success. Many top officials were present at Jallianwala Bagh at 7 am to kickstart the walk.

Even the painting competition organised during the festival this year proved to be dampener, as only 30 children turned up.


Pak women take to Indian fashion

Jalandhar, November 21
Like in India, in Pakistan also television serials at prime time on Star Plus have made women crazy and due to that wearing sarees has become a fashion, resulting in increased demand for sarees there.

“Right from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. we, along with the family, sit before the television set and follow Star Plus serials like “Kasauti Zindagi Key“, to “Kyonki Sas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi”. This created a fascination for Indian sarees among Pakistani women,” Ayesha Rana, wife of media adviser to the Chief Minister of Punjab (Pakistan), said adding that even applying “Bindi” by women had become a fashion in Lahore.

Wherever women gathered, they talked about TV serials, especially about women characters, she said.

Although suits and burkas were the traditional dresses of Pakistani women due to TV serials the demand for sarees had increased manifold, she said, adding that even her friends had made requests to bring some sarees for them from India.

To a question, Ayesha said compared to Indian women, most Pakistani women confined themselves to home. She said she was surprised after watching women rising two-wheelers in the city, which was quite rare in Pakistan.

Sarwat Mohiuddin, member of the Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board and famous poetess of Pakistan, said European countries had misconception about the status of women in Pakistan. “Women in Pakistan are not as much confined as in other Islamic countries but rather quite upward and advanced.

Sarwat said the Pakistan Punjabi Literary Board had demanded from the Pakistani Government to include Punjabi in the syllabus of primary schools. — PTI


Music sans harmony
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 21
Music and harmony may not always co-exist. This was evident during the second-day of the World Punjabi Festival organised at Guru Gobind Singh Stadium here last evening. Some Punjabi artistes from this side of the border took a major chunk of time during the programme, prompting a few other singers to complain that their fellow artistes had “taken over” the show. In fact, the turn of Pakistani singers Akram Rahi and Nasibo came in the wee hours. By that time, the audience had thinned out.

Braving the chill, a good number of spectators had come to watch the programme. But paucity of seats made them “standing spectators”. Some members of the Pakistani delegation, too, did not find any seats. The audience, however, was not so restive as the other day.

Yet another damper was the lip-syncing mode adopted by some artistes, including Pammi Bai and Sarabjeet Cheema. Initially, Akram Rahi tried to do the same, but the audience prevailed upon him to “go live” and he agreed. His duet with Nasibo was well received. Among the Indian singers, Harbhajan Mann and Hans Raj Hans found an appreciative audience. Punjabi comedian Bhagwant Mann had the audience in splits with his humour-laced talk. Iqbal Bahu rendered Amrita Pritam’s poem “Ajj akkhan Waris Shah nu” with aplomb.

On this occasion, the Punjan Panian Dee Virasat honoured 10 Indians and Pakistanis, who had “worked for harmony” between the two countries.

Actress-producer Zarine Sulemann, while talking to The Tribune, had a rather interesting suggestion to make. She said movies showing the two countries warring with each other should be banned. “These movies spread bad vibes and they do no good,” she added.


Art falling prey to market forces, says Anand Dev
Rashmi Talwar

Amritsar, November 21
“Art values are being lost and artists are increasingly giving in to the economics of demand and supply. Art work is thus falling prey to market trends and creative work is suffering”, Anand Dev, a former Vice-Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi, said.

Here for a painting workshop of senior artists of India, organised by the All Indian Fine Arts and Crafts Society (AIFACS) New Delhi, and the Indian Academy of Fine Arts (IAFA), the artist said they were seeking solutions as “darkness is evident if materialism and spiritualism in art fail to achieve comfortable balance. It is necessary to earn a living but to lose the real essence of expression and mould it to current market requirements spells slow death for art.”

The artist whose desert series of four paintings on Barmer border in Rajasthan was bought by Microsoft giant Bill Gates, however, says that global networking has helped to promote Indian art in a big way. “Germany is perhaps the only country to form comprehensive website exclusively for Indian art. It includes information on art, artists, market price and exhaustive data”, says Anand Dev who was invited by the German Government to compose a “music mural” Beethoven.

With many of his paintings adorning the walls of the rich and famous, the artist favours cosmic themes.

He raised money for Mother Teresa’s home in 1988 at Kolkata and gifted her a portrait of her. “It was touching to present ailing Frontier Gandhi his portrait when he was admitted to the AIIMS in Delhi in 1980”, he says.

The artist had sold eight of his 10-painting series on Buddha in Osaka (Japan) and won the ‘Turkey Bienelle Award.

Anand recalls coming to Amritsar as a 16-year old during Partition. Later in Delhi, he trained under Sailoze Mukherjee and B.C. Sanyal. His first painting exhibited in 1958, “Bismilla ki Beti” of the revolutionary figure being seen by his daughter from outside the jail is close to his heart and he never wants to sell it.


Software to ‘convert’ Gurmukhi script into Shahmukhi
Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 21
It is a "sangam" with a difference. one which is aimed at the Punjabi diaspora in Pakistan Punjab.

For the first time Punjabis in Pakistan will be able to read literature in Gurmukhi script in Shahmukhi (Urdu) through the 'Sangam' transliteration software developed by the Advanced Centre for the Technical Development of Punjabi in Punjabi University here.

Punjabis in Pakistan, who cannot read books from this side of the border because they have no knowledge of Gurmukhi, can get transliterated copies at a speed of 10 pages per minute. A book can be downloaded in 15 to 20 minutes. Sangam is compatible with MS - Word and all one has to do is edit the file in 'sangam' and convert the matter into Shahmukhi.

This has been done in one year by Dr Gurpreet Singh Lehal who says he even had to learn rudimentary Urdu for this purpose. Dr Lehal while speaking to TNS said the road to Pakistan and Shahmukhi was loaded with a number of pitfalls of the literary kind.

"First we had to go in for standardisation of the Punjabi language and fonts to ensure the user can work on any font".

He said once this was done by making use of a font converter, they were faced with the special problem of Urdu which is written the other way round.

"We surmounted that problem and also evolved a system on the base of which the translation was to take place. This included character-based, sound-based and dictionary- based transliteration", he says adding that the Centre could guarantee 97 per cent accuracy in the transliterated copies. He said the software would be put to use during the World Punjabi Conference being held at the university in which more than 700 delegates were coming from Pakistan Punjab.

Dr Lehal says the brief of the Centre by Vice -Chancellor S S Boparai was to develop Punjabi so as to make its usage viable for computer technology. He said even though Punjabi was the 14th global language, it was still primitive as far as technological adaptation and its scientific development was concerned.

"Our presence is almost negligible on the net and we do not have our own internet surfers", he says, adding that these are problems which the Centre will address.

The Centre is also looking at ways to propagate the language amongst the Punjabi speaking diaspora in various countries. "People have been telling us that they face difficulties in getting their children to learn Punjabi for which they have to hire tutors or take their kids to the gurdwaras". He said the Centre had developed a software which would be launched on the internet by February next year.

Dr Lehal said the software had been made keeping in mind the special needs of new learners settled abroad.

"We have made it interesting and entertaining by illustrating examples familiar to children abroad", he added.

Other projects of the Centre include creation of Punjabi - English and vice versa dictionary, Punjabi thesaurus and encyclopaedia which will be put on the net besides uploading of literature of historical importance related to Sikh history, Sufi tradition and other socio - cultural aspects of Punjab.

It also aims to locate the Punjabi speech community at the global level and find out various dialectal variations of the Punjabi language with a view to developing specific products for these communities.


Pulse Polio campaign launched
Tribune Reporters

Hoshiarpur, November 21
To eradicate polio from Punjab, the Health and Family Welfare Department today formed up 16,000 teams and 1,000 mobile teams to administer polio vaccine to 36.5 lakh children.

This was disclosed by Mr Romesh Chander Dogra, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab, before administering polio drops to children at Community Health Centre, Bhol Kalota, 85 km from here today.

Mr Dogra said 70,000 workers were engaged for achieving this task. Dr Y.C. Markan, Civil Surgeon, Dr. Ravi Kumar, District Immunisation Officer, Hoshiarpur, were also present.

Mr Romesh Chander Dogra directed employees of the Health Department to visit houses November 22, 23 to administer drops.

Dr D.S. Virk, Director, Family Welfare, Punjab, inaugurated the Pulse Polio eradication campaign by giving drops children at Civil Hospital, Dasuya.

Mrs Sukhwant Kaur Bhullar, Chairperson, Hospital Welfare Section, inaugurated the campaign in Hoshiarpur at Shri Guru Ram Dass Institute of Nursing. She said to administer drops of polio vaccine to 18557 children in the city, booths were set up at 69 places. She also told that to give vaccine to the children, entering the city from the different routes 8 special teams were also set up. Apart from this, two mobile teams were also working for the children residing in remote areas.

BARNALA: About 8,500 children were administered polio drops in Barnala. Mr S.P. Gupta, Chief Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, inaugurated Pulse Polio here today. Dr Suresh Singhal, Nodal Officer, Pulse Polio Drive said about 30 camps were set up.

SANGRUR: Ms Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, inaugurated the Pulse Polio programme in the district by administering anti-polio drops at the Malerkotla Civil Hospital.

Dr G.L. Goyal, Director, Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, supervised the Pulse Polio campaign by visiting Sunam and Bhawanigarh in this district.

Dr Inderjit Kaur Walia, Civil Surgeon, Sangrur, told TNS this evening that out of total 2.72 lakh children, up to five years of age, anti-polio drops were administered to 1,77,554 children at 1,060 booths and by 44 mobile teams in the district today, as per the reports received by her from all over the district this evening.


36 lakh children given polio drops
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 21
Mr Darbara Singh Guru, Principal Secretary, Health, Punjab, said today that so far no case of polio was reported in the state this year and it had virtually become polio-free region.

Mr Guru, who inaugurated the function organised in connection with the launching of Pulse Polio campaign in the state at Rampura town of this district, said more than 36 lakh children of Punjab administered polio drops by about 70,000 volunteers belonging to different non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and state government departments.

He added that about 16,000 booths were set up for Pulse Polio programme.

He pointed out state-level teams would keep a watch over the Pulse Polio programmes.

These teams had been carrying out surprise checkings to find out that whether the Pulse Polio programme had been going on as per norms or not.

Mr Guru, who was accompanied by Dr Y. P. Singla, Civil Surgeon, Bathinda, while talking to mediapersons, pointed out that a move was going on to recruit about 1,373 doctors and an adequate number of paramedical staff to fill the existing vacancies in the hospitals, health centres and dispensaries.

The Health Department was also making efforts to curb the sale of intoxicants from chemists shops and for this task vacancies in the drug control wing were also being filled.

He said the Health Department had successfully launched TB-control programme in eight districts and in rest of districts it would be launched in phased manner.

Meanwhile, the Pulse Polio programme was launched in the residential colony of Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Plant by Dr Kulbir Singh.


WHO observer inspects Pulse Polio camps
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, November 21
The WHO Observer for Punjab Ms Yuang Chang Dolma, today visited rural and urban areas here and inspected the Pulse polio programme An official pressnote said Ms Dolma visited the local Civil Hosptal and polio camps in villages.

Meanwhile, Mr Joginder Singh Mann, Chairman of the Punjab Agro Foods Corporation, inaugurated the programme by administering polio drops to children. Dr Subhash Sharma, SMO, disclosed that 142 booths were set up in urban and rural areas to cover 30,098 children.

Slums, brick kiln workers’ colonies, bus stand, railway station, huts were specially covered. NGOs and students of Nursing College of Atholi village helped in the campaign. The Punjab Welfare Organisation took out lucky draws and gave prizes to children who were administered drops at the Sakhian Di Dharamsala booth.


Helping Hands Society reaches out to 70 children
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 21
More than 70 needy students received winter uniforms, stationary and fee at a function organised at the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology (TIET) here by the Helping Hands Society.

Mayor Vishnu Sharma PRTC Chairman Ved Prakash Gupta, Thapar Institute Director Dr S.C. Saxena, Amar Hospital Managing Director Dr J.S. Bahia were present at the function and promised to patronise the activities of the society.

Society president Vijay Gupta, while disclosing the activities of the society, said it had till now concentrated on providing education facilities to needy children. “We have tried to focus on girls who do not have any monetary support and girls provided help by us from a tender age are presently doing higher studies in colleges and also the Punjabi University”. Mr Gupta said the Society had now decided to provide financial and medical help to old citizens. He disclosed that more than 500 students had been given aid by the Society.

Mayor Vishnu Sharma said the society was doing social service by providing quality education free of cost to needy children. “This is the need of the hour”, he said adding the Corporation would also help the Society in its ventures. PRTC Chairman Ved Prakash Gupta said everyone should do social work for self fulfillment.

Thapar Institute Director Dr S.C. Saxena, while speaking on the occasion, said TIET was already working in league with the Society by imparting computer training in a capsule course to students adopted by the Helping Hands Society. He said the institute would take up other projects on demand. Dr J S Bahia, Dr H L Bansal and Dr Bharti Bansal lauded the Society for doing genuine social work and committed that they would provide medical aid to the poor and needy students adopted by the society.


Unique procession on Nov 27
Our Correspondent

Bathinda, November 21
To celebrate the “Heritage Festival”, a unique procession would start from the local Gurdwara Hajji Ratan on November 27.

As per a press note, Mr K.A.P. Sinha, Deputy Commissioner, at a meeting said that 20 camels, 21 horses and four elephants would lead the procession. Besides, 20 women sarpanchs of this district would bring “jago” and 25 youths adorned in traditional Punjabi dresses would accompany the procession.

Mr Sinha said that the important gates of the town would be named after prominent personalities.

The meeting was attended by high officials of the district, including Mr L.R. Nair, Income Tax Commissioner, and Mr Kapil Dev, SSP.


Breach in distributary plugged
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 21
About 20 acres having standing cotton crop and recently sown wheat crop came under knee-deep water following a breach in the Behman distributary, passing near Adarsh Nagar in the town, late last evening.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that the breach was about 50 feet wide and it was plugged by the Irrigation and Drainage Department today evening so that water could be released into it to provide the same for wheat sowing.

Mr S.K. Sidana, Executive Engineer, Irrigation Department, Bathinda, when contacted, said there was no loss to the crops due to the breach. He added that tipper and other machinery was pressed into service to plug it at the earliest.

He claimed that as per preliminary inquiry, it came into notice that the banks of the distributary were weakened by rat holes which developed during the period when it remained closed a few days ago.


Decision on Wakf Board hailed
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, November 21
The Anjuman Islamia Committee, Punjab, chief, Sayeed Nazir Ahmed Nazir, has described the state government decision to form Wakf Board in the state after a period of 20 years as a right step.

Talking to the media here yesterday, he urged the Wakf Board Chairman to work towards vacating encroachments on Wakf Board land by the mafia in different parts of the state.

He also urged the state Chief Minister to give proper representation to all sections of the Muslim community in the state Wakf Board.


Punjabi Lekhak Award for Dr Sirhindi
Our Correspondent

Harchand Singh Sirhindi Fatehgarh Sahib, November 21
Renowned Punjabi writer Dr Harchand Singh Sirhindi, belonging to Sirhind town of the district, has been awarded Shiromani Punjabi Lekhak Award-2002 by the state government.

The award consists Rs 1 lakh in cash, a shawl and a memento. The award will be presented to Dr Sirhindi on November 28 at a state-level function to be held at Patiala.

Dr Sirhindi is a recipient of M.S. Randhawa Award, Dr Hargobind Khurana Award, Baba Banda Singh Award by the SGPC and Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Gold Medal. He has written more than 11books on different topics in Punjabi.

Mr S.K. Ahluwalia, Deputy Commissioner, has congratulated Dr Sirhindi on his achievements.


Rebuild nation, youth urged
Our Correspondent

Abohar, November 21
A declamation contest was held at the Sardar Patel Medical Institute of Nursing and Hospital here yesterday. Dr Krishan Baveja, head of the intellect cell of the RSS in Punjab, presided over the contest.

The participants spoke on a variety of topics including the role of women in politics, drug-addiction, impact of satellite TV channels on society and female foeticide.

Dr Baveja exhorted the youth to identify their role in rebuilding the nation. Others who addressed the gathering included Dr Gauri Shankar Mittal, Mr Sita Ram Sharma, Chairman and MD respectively, of the Institute.

Sukhdeep Kaur, Pritpal Singh and Ramandeep Kaur won first, second and third prize, respectively. Amanpreet Kaur compered the programme. Students also took a pledge to fight against the social evils.

Competitions for students were also organised at RSD High School here today to promote their talent skills. Ravi Kumar, Anu, Pooja and Mainpal were declared winners in respective categories in the painting competition. Mamta Rani, Kunti and Satish won mehandi competition. Divya, Nisha, Sunil, Abhilasha were winners in the handwriting competition. Rinky and Chander Parkash were declared winners in races.


Pensioners seek better deal
Tribune News Service

Patiala, November 21
Pensioners assembled at the Mini-Secretariat here today to celebrate the birthday of three octogenarians and spent more than two hours entertaining the gathering, besides reminding the government that many of their demands were still to be met.

Former DSP Balwant Dev and Ms Shakuntala Bir entertained fellow pensioners with poems penned by them. Others tried out their vocal chords at the function in which District Public Relations Officer Ujjagar Singh was the chief guest.

The Pensioners Welfare Association president H.S. Sodhi, working president B.S. Gautam and general secretary G S Bajaj highlighted the demands of the pensioners on the occasion. They appealed to the Punjab Government to accept the demands as recommended by the Fourth Pay Commission, increase pension on the basis of service exceeded after 33 years, increase pension by 5 per cent for those who had exceeded the age of 80 and restore dearness allowance to the family pensioners in case a ward got employment in place of the deceased pensioner as was being done before 1996.

The association members also appealed to the government to increase medical allowance from Rs 250 to Rs 500 per month and ensure 50 per cent concession in bus fares besides a demand for revoking orders regarding the commutation of pension passed in July, 2003.


SGPC to invite Kalam, PM
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 21
The SGPC will invite the President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Vice-President, Mr Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, to participate in the tercentenary functions of martyrdom of four sons and mother of Guru Gobind Singh at Chamkaur Sahib and Fatehgarh Sahib from December 18 to 26.

In a press note issued here yesterday, Mr H.S. Bhanwar, media adviser, SGPC, said the gurdwara committee had decided to honour eminent Sikh personalities to be selected by a two-member committee comprising Capt Kanwaljit Singh and Bibi Jagir Kaur.


4 booked in dowry case
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 21
The police has booked four persons in a dowry harassment case in which the accused have also been charged with killing the foetus of the complainant.

In her complaint to the SSP, the complainant, Kulwinder Kaur, said she was married to Jasminder Singh on April 7, 2001, and her parents spent about Rs 10 lakh on her marriage. Four months after her marriage, her in-laws started harassing her for bringing more money from her parents so that they could set up a new business.

When she refused to approach her parents regarding their demand, they beat her up and threw her out of their house while she was pregnant.

After a few months, her brother took her back to her in-laws’ home where she gave birth to a son. But, the harassment did not stop there and she went into depression.

She called up her brothers in November, 2002, and narrated her woes to them.

Her brothers got her treated and again sent her back.

Her torture continued and on July 31, 2004, her husband came home with one of his friends and thrashed her brutally.

She was pregnant at that time, but they even hit her on her stomach. When her mother took her to a doctor after a week of the incident, her foetus was found dead.

The police has registered a case against her husband Jasminder Singh, her father-in-law Nirmal Singh, her mother-in-law, Surjeet Kaur and her sister-in-law Praneet Kaur under Sections 406, 49-A, 364, 313 and 316 of the IPC.


Fake degree racket busted, two held
Tribune News Service

Moga, November 21
The CIA staff busted a fake marksheet and certificate racket and arrested two persons in this connection last night.

Addressing a press conference here today, the SSP, Mr M.S. Chhina, said a CIA team raided a house following a tip-off and arrested Vikas Sood and Yogesh Kumar.

Three computers, two scanners and a large number of fake certificates and degrees were seized. He said the accused had managed to get original birth and death certificates, ration cards, Punjab School Education Board marksheets, and BA degrees of Panjab University, Guru Nanak Dev University, and Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University, and were preparing fake copies using computers and scanners.

The SSP said they used to make these certificates and degrees in three phases through screen printing. They also had fake stamps of registrars of various universities and officials of government departments. They would charge between Rs 7,000 and Rs 9,000 for the degrees.

The accused reportedly told the police that they had been involved in this for the past two years.

Yogesh Kumar said he was previously in a book-binding business, but could not fulfil his family’s needs. Later, he joined hands with Vikas to make “easy money”.

The police has registered a case under Sections 420, 465, 467, 468, 471, and 472 of the IPC.


Man killed by son
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, November 21
Magghar Singh, resident of Mehraj village of the district, was allegedly murdered by his son Sewak Singh with the help of his maternal uncle Chamkaur Singh today.

Police sources said both the accused murdered Magghar Singh as they suspected that he was having illicit relations with a resident of Dyalpura Mirja village of the district.

The sources added that Magghar Singh used to harass his wife and children after he developed illicit relations with another woman. To get rid of him Sewak Singh along with Chamkaur Singh murdered Magghar Singh.

A case has been registered at Phul police station.

Meanwhile, the police arrested two persons for possessing and transporting liquor illegally in the district.


NRI group adopts school
Tribune News Service

Hoshiarpur, November 21
Motivated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s message for a greater role by NRIs in nation-building, a group of NRIs lead by Mr D.S. Dhillon of Porterville, USA, which includes educationists, doctors, and landlords from Fort Atkinson and Fresno in the USA, Canada and Singapore, has adopted Woodlands Overseas School here for financial support. This was announced by Mr Daljit Singh Dhillon at the annual day celebrations of the school, presided over by Mr I.M.J.S. Sidhu, Chief Executive and Director, Mahavir Spinning Mills, yesterday.

Mr Dhillon, whose father Mr Ajmer Singh Dhillon belonged to Bathinda, migrated to Nairobi in 1930 and later settled down at Fresno in the USA. His brother, Dr Kulwant Singh, is a reputed surgeon.

According to Mr Daljit Singh, it was his desire to do something for Punjab that led him to the field of education. He met like-minded people abroad who wanted to educate the younger generation of Punjab and with their backing, he went scouting for schools with required infrastructure.

Spread over 15 acres, Woodlands Overseas School was inaugurated by Mr G. Balasubramanium, Director Academics, CBSE, New Delhi, on March 14 this year. Besides other facilities, the school also has a swimming pool and an open air theatre.

Mr Daljit Singh said talks were on with a few educational institutions of the USA for student- exchange programmes under which students of this school would have an opportunity to see and gain first hand knowledge of the education system in the USA.

Earlier, a variety programme was presented by children of the school. Mr. I.M.J.S Sidhu gave away the prizes while the General Manager, Mrs. Simerjeet, proposed a vote of thanks.


Papers on human trafficking read
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 21
A number of papers were presented on human trafficking, rights of HIV/AIDS patients and rights of the mentally challenged on the second day of the three-day international conference on “Human rights in the age of globalisation” being organised by DAV College of Education for women here.

Dignitaries of national and international repute, including Ms Masumeh Rezapour, Professor, Islamic University, Teheran, Ms Preity S.K. Nijhar, Centre for Comparative Criminal Justice, University of Wales, UK and Prof Theodore S. Orline, HRAP, Human Rights Advocacy programme, Utica College, USA, presented their papers.

Ms Masumeh concluded that the plight of victims of human trafficking, especially women, reminded one of the return of slavery.

Ms Nijhar in her paper discussed the ethnic component of the criminal class. She compared the criminal classes of the Victorian London with those of the criminal tribes of imperial India.

Prof Theodore said condemnation of violence of women as an international practice alone could assist in eradication of gender abuse. Many papers on honour killings in the context of Punjab and Haryana were read. Swami Nikhilanand ji from Chinmaya Mission discussed the relevance of the theme in the age of globalisation.

Dr C. Naseema, Reader in Education, University of Calicut, Kerala, said there was a need to create human rights awareness in schools and this could be started by educating the teachers on human rights.


Educational Expo from today
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, November 21
In its bid to bridge the communication gap between students and foreign universities and to create awareness about the availability of overseas educational opportunities, the B.N. Overseas Educational Trust has decided to organise a series of seminars under the International Education Expo programme in five cities of Punjab and Chandigarh from November 22 to 27.

Mr Kamal Bhumbla, chairman of the Trust, said the main aim of the programme was to save innocent parents and students, who usually fell victims to unauthorised travel agents. Mr Bhumbla said seminars would be held on Chandigarh on November 22 to be followed by Ludhiana on November 23, Jalandhar on November 24, Amritsar on November 25, Patiala on November 26 and Bathinda on November 27.

Experts from the University of Windsor, Canada, the London College of Advance Studies, UK, Bond College, Toronto, Canada, and James Cook University, Australia, would interact with students and their parents to impart information about existing laws and other legal means to join different courses in their respective countries, the chairman said.

They would also inform about the facility for overseas students to work part time to earn money, he added. During the programme, the participants would also be informed about the availability of bank loans to study abroad. 


Quark shortlists six students
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 21
Six students of the Computer Department of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College (BBSBEC), here have been shortlisted for the final interview by Quark Media House, Mohali.

The College Principal Dr D.S. Hira, said the interview was held at the college campus by the company.

He said Quark had conducted joint campus interview for the computer engineering and information technology and MCA students for all affiliated colleges of Punjab Technical University (PTU) at the BBSBEC here. Around 500 students from all over Punjab appeared in the 2-day interview, he added.

Kabir Kumar of the Human Resource Department (HRD) of the company said this was the first time that Quark was conducting campus interviews for the students of PTU.

Prof Gurpal Singh, Head of Computer Department, said Manjeet Singh, Mohit Setia, Varun Chopra, Elesh Kumar, Puneet Kaur and Manpreet Kaur of the college were selected for the final interview.


General category welfare body backs VC
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, November 21
Mr Parabhjit Singh, senior vice-president of the General Category Welfare Federation and Senate member took a serious note against the allegations being levelled on Mr S.S. Boparai, Vice-Chancellor, of Punjabi University, by the Schedule Caste Welfare Society.

In a press note issued here today, he said the steps taken by the Vice-Chancellor regarding reverting the SCs, who were promoted out of turn were worth appreciating.

He also welcomed the appointments of new assistants on merit basis. He further said there is no such policy of reservation in promotion in Guru Nanak Dev University and Panjab University. Mr Parabhjit Singh demanded that the reservation at the initial level should be abolished.

He further added, all type of admissions should be made on merit basis. He said he would raise the reservation issue at the Senate meeting.

He further appealed to the state government not to implement the 85th Amendment in Punjab as the SC employees were already in excess due to the quota system.


GND varsity degree for Elahi, Capt
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, November 21
The Chief Minister of Pakistan Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and his counterpart, Capt Amarinder Singh, will be conferred the degree of doctorate by Guru Nanak Dev University on December 2.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Dr S.P. Singh, said the two Punjabi CMs would be honoured for their vision towards improving relations between the two countries. 

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