Ongoing peace process and Kartarpur Sahib
POLITICAL PARTIES ARE COLD TOWARDS CORRIDOR
Readers are perhaps aware that there is a shrine which Guru Nanak himself inaugurated, where he stayed for 18 years and where he passed away. Known as universal shrine Kartarpur is right on the Indo-Pak border in Pakistani territory. Just about 2km from border and is visible from the Indian territory.
Consenting to the Sikh demand the Pakistan Govt in 1999 has agreed to allow visa-free visits of the Indian Sikhs to this shrine. Pakistan has repeated its proposal many a times.
Now bending before the international community the two countries have ceased hostilities and to and fro visits of citizens of the two countries are being exchanged. Sometimes journalists, sometimes doctors, advocates, merchants, engineers, farmers, visits are being exchanged. A limited exercise of trade and commerce has also initiated. There are many visa relaxations. Peace prevails on Indo-Pak borders.
Last March about one million devotees had darshan of the shrine from distant. It is how ever strange that the place most wanted by people is being deprived from them. Keeping in view the popular pressure the honourable Prime Minister of India S, Manmohan Singh who is himself a Sikh while addressing a mammoth gathering of the Sikhs at Amritsar on Sept.1,2004 had promised that as for as possible he would see that the corridor is opened. But later there was a press news that the Govt intends to start a bus service to Kartarpur via a circuitous route. While welcoming the proposal of bus service to Nankana sahib the devotees rejected of 200 kms long journey for Kartarpur only a walking distance. It was a mockery of the demand the Sangat felt.
There after the Govt has maintained its silence while the devotees are getting restive. It is strange none of the political parties like the Akali Dal (Badal), Akali Dal (Amritsar) Akali Dal (Ravi Inder), Congress or BSP has supported the Sikh demand. When In April 2004 when it had almost become certain that devotees would be allowed passage on Vaisakhi the sikh body SGPC played a dubious role. Please see:
Yesterday Sangat Langha Kartarpur the organisation pursuing the cause of corridor had its monthly prayer and meeting right at the border where regrets over the cold attitude of the parties were expressed. The news has since been carried by Ajit daily. Please see
The Sangat had earlier sent a letter in the form of an appeal to all the MPs (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha both) and members of Punjab Legislative Assembly. This appeal is worth reading by every Sikh. Please see:-
Sangat appreciated that some of the members have very favourably responded to the appeal. S.Manohar Singh Gill member Rajya Sabha and former India's Chief Election Commissioner has assured the Sangat that he would intensify his efforts in the direction of easing of relations between the two countries.
It was also regretted that perhaps the attitude of the Govt was discriminatory against the patriotic Sikhs of India as the Govt honours the peoples wishes when it comes to cases of other pilgrimages like the Amar Nath yatra where it would depute its military power to ensure the safety of pilgrims in strife torn Kashmir. The BJP Govt had earlier sought a passage for a Hindu shrine Kailash Mansarovar which falls in the Chinese territory. It takes about a fortnight to reach at Kailash. The Sangat prayed to God almighty to bless the concerned Govts with the humanistic and just approach. A non-Sikh Mr. Husnal Charag has however prepared a case of the Sikhs for their cross border shrines. Please see Punjabi version of the case:-
Very soon this document would also be posted in English.
Bibi Satinder Kaur Gujral Vice President Punjab State Congress Committee, Principal H.S.Randhawa and other prinicipal servants of the Sangat were present in the meeting.
May Guru Nanak bless you all
Sangat Langha Kartarpur