Indian Sikhs set deadline for govt to reopen Kartarpur Hall


Sikh pilgrims offer prayers on the occasion of the 481st death anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder of Sikhism, at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur near the India-Pakistan border on September 22, 2020. —: AFP
Sikh pilgrims provide prayers on the event of the 481st dying anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founding father of Sikhism, at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur close to the India-Pakistan border on September 22, 2020. —: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The Sikh group in India has given the Indian authorities a deadline of November 19 to reopen the Kartarpur Hall after Pakistan issued visas to three,000 Sikh pilgrims permitting them to go to Kartarpur on Guru Nanak’s beginning anniversary.

“Pakistan Excessive Fee in New Delhi has issued round 3000 visas to Indian Sikh pilgrims to take part within the 552nd beginning anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak in Pakistan from 17-26 November 2021… 1000’s of Sikh Pilgrims residing in international locations aside from India would even be visiting Pakistan to attend the occasion,” Pakistan Excessive Fee in India introduced Friday.

Throughout their keep in Pakistan, the Sikh pilgrims would pay obeisance at completely different Gurdwaras together with Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

Nevertheless, the Sikhs in India have fashioned a Sri Kartarpur Sahib Hall Sangarash Committee (SKSCSC) which had introduced to take its motion for the trigger on worldwide platforms if the demand was not met by November 19.

The Indian media quoted SKSCSC member Surinderpal Singh Talibpur saying that they had fashioned a 13-member committee to demand the reopening of the Kartarpur Hall … in order that followers may journey to Pakistan and return on the identical day after paying obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.

One other member of SKSCSC, Balwinder Singh Pakhoke, mentioned that they had supplied prayers on the worldwide border at Dera Baba Nanak for the reopening of the Kartarpur Hall on the earliest.

“If the federal government doesn’t settle for our demand, then we are going to unfold our motion throughout the state to generate stress on the federal government,” mentioned Pakhoke.

Talibpur claimed that that they had acquired immense response from the international Sikh our bodies who had assured them of throwing their weight behind the SKSCSC’s motion.

“After November 19, we are going to maintain a gathering and now have digital discussions with our supporters overseas to chalk out additional plan of action,” he mentioned.

On Friday, the Overseas Workplace spokesperson mentioned that the Hall was open from the Pakistan aspect and India was additionally anticipated to permit the Sikh pilgrims needing to affix the upcoming celebrations.

“We’re all set to welcome hundreds of devotees from India and all over the world coming to Pakistan for the upcoming beginning anniversary celebrations … for which elaborate preparations have been put in place,” he mentioned in his weekly press briefing.

Pakistan additionally commemorated the second anniversary of the opening of the Kartarpur Hall-dubbed the ‘Hall of Hope’ by the UN Secretary-Basic.

Inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan in 2019, the Hall is a shining instance of Pakistan’s efforts to advertise interfaith concord and mirrored the primacy Pakistan accorded to spiritual minorities within the nation.

On the second anniversary of the Hall, Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted, “Right now is the second anniversary of the Kartarpur Hall – a hall of interfaith concord that permits India’s Sikh group particular entry to certainly one of their holiest websites.”

He mentioned Kartarpur Hall mirrored his authorities’s dedication to minority rights and interfaith concord.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) President Bibi Jagir Kaur on Friday additionally wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to reopen the Kartarpur Hall.

“The federal government has allowed political and spiritual gatherings and occasions with Covid 19 protocol in place; so it also needs to reopen the Kartarpur Hall for pilgrimage as quickly as potential,” mentioned Kaur.