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Archive for March, 2017

Distortion of History: BSNs Observe Black Day By Sajjad Shaukat

 Distortion of History: BSNs Observe Black Day

   By Sajjad Shaukat

In order to pollute the minds of the patriot people of the Baluchistan province against the federation of Pakistan, every year Baloch Sub-Nationalists (BSNs) observe March 27 as a black day on alleged annexation of Kalat state with Pakistan in 1948.

During this very day, shutter down strikes in small and far-flung areas of Balochistan and demonstrations of small attendance by exiled BSNs take place. As these hostile elements, while following the foreign agenda of the anti-Pakistan countries distort the historical facts; the Baloch must need to know the actual perspective about the accession of Kalat state with Pakistan.

No doubt, Baloch leaders and people of Balochistan played a vital role in the creation of Pakistan and ultimately succeeded under the leadership and guidance of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah in achieving Pakistan as an independent state. In fact, Balochistan is an integral part of Pakistan with a history of supporting Resolution of Pakistan-1940, which envisaged the creation of a separate homeland for Muslim majority areas of the Sub-continent, as the Baloch had strongly opposed the plan of the united India.

Unfortunately, there are still been certain dissident elements which not only opposed the idea of Two Nation Theory-the fundamental ideological base for the creation of Pakistan but also left no stone unturned in polluting the minds of the innocent Baloch by distorting the history of Balochistan’s accession to Pakistan. In reality, before the independence of Pakistan, the territories which are now consolidated into the province of Balochistan did not constitute a settled province. Apart from Quetta District that was administrated under civil law, the rest of the territory was under Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR). The then government of British India constituted a special body of tribal elders known as “SHAHI JIRGA” for consultation by Assistant Governor General (AGG) on local issues relating to British Balochistan. On June 29, 1947, “SHAHI JIRGA” of the British Balochistan as the representative body of AGG along with elected members of Quetta Municipal Body unanimously passed a resolution of forming part of Pakistan. The State of Kalat had customary overlordship in the princely states of Kharan, Makran, and Lasbela. As these three states decided to join Pakistan in March 1948, the Khan of Kalat (Kok) also acceded with Pakistan on March 27, 1948. The brother of Kok Shehzada Abdul Karim of Kakat having mustered 130 tribesmen started the insurgency in 1948 which never took off the ground and the matter was brought under control.

Regretfully, Baloch Sub Nationalists (BSNs) distort the history of the accession of Kalat with Pakistan and give reference of the so-called insurgency of 1948 by the brother of Kok, whereas the document of the accession of State of Kalat with Pakistan was signed by Kok himself as the legitimate ruler of State of Kalat.

Notably, as a result of the general elections 2013, the government led by the nationalist leader Chief Minister Balochistan Dr. Abdul Malik Baloch was established in Balochistan, while on December 7, 2013; local bodies elections were largely held in a peaceful manner in the province. However, these elections proved that majority of the Baloch are loyal to the federation and do not favour separation of the Balochistan, as they have rejected the case of separatists, being projected by anti-Pakistan powers.

Even a Gallup survey of the UK official body, DFID, conducted on July 20, 212, had disclosed that the vast majority of the Baloch people oppose the idea of an independent Balochistan. This survey has also proved that some external entities have been conducting acts of sabotage in the province by backing the minority groups.

As regards the deteriorating situation in Balochistan and the missing persons, everyone knows that Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA), Baloch Salvation Front (BSF) and their affiliated outfits, including another group, Jundollah (God’s soldiers) which have been fighting for secession of the province gets logistic support from American CIA, Indian RAW, and Israeli Mossad. In the past few years, these militants kidnapped and killed many innocent people and the security personnel in the province. They also massacred many persons through suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings and sectarian violence. Therefore, they are responsible for dumped bodies and extrajudicial killings in the province. On a number of occasions, these insurgent groups claimed responsibility for their subversive acts. A majority of the disappeared individuals are also in the detention centers (Farrari Camps) which are being run by foreign-assisted Baloch feudal lords (Sardars) who want to continue old system of feudalism in the province so as to maintain their status, prestige, and influence at the cost of people of the province.

It is mentionable that India, US, and Israel have been internationalizing the Balochistan issue in accordance with their secret goals. In this respect, in connivance with the Baloch separatist leaders who have taken refuge in Switzerland, Sweden, US and London, these foreign elements use media, various NGOs and human rights organizations for false propaganda against Pakistan’s security agencies in relation to extrajudicial killings, mutilated bodies, and the missing persons.

Nevertheless, during this very day, it is also of particular attention that since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of the reconciliation process, many militants and their leaders have surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province.

Besides, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the successful military operation Zarb-e-Azb which has also been extended to Balochistan where peace has been restored. But, it is the misfortune that based in Afghanistan; external secret agencies such as CIA, RAW, and Mossad have, again, started subversive activities in Balochistan. As part of the double, game, these agencies are using the separatist elements and terrorist organizations like the Islamic State group (Also known as Daesh, ISIS, ISIL), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan Jamaat-ur-Ahrar (TTP-JA also known as JuA), including other similar outfits in creating unrest in Balochistan, as recent terror attacks in the province has proved. Now, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project is their special target.

Taking cognizance of historical facts, the idea of observing Black Day must be denounced by all the segments of society, while the majority of the Baloch has already rejected the call for shutter down strike. But, these anti-Pakistan aims of the separatist elements also needs to be countered by our own historians, analysts and media persons by giving a true perspective of history and denouncing the hostile elements who distorting the facts in order to advance their vested interests.

These internal entities of Pakistan must point out that People of Balochistan, especially the youth are very loyal and patriotic Pakistanis who believe in unity and sovereignty of the country. They cannot be misled by elusive designs of greedy leaders who plan to observe March 27 as Black Day.

Particularly, media must proactively project the role of Baloch leaders in the creation of Pakistan and in defending the state of Pakistan. For the purpose, talk shows must be held giving a correct perspective of historical records by explaining the process of accession of State of Kalat with Pakistan and the internal rift between Kok and his brother.

Our own intellectuals must indicate that insurgency of 1948 which started by Shehzada Abdul Karim of Kakat never took off, because it was not supported by other realistic Baloch leaders, and it was based on misguided thoughts suggested by few Indian Congress leaders. The aim was to destabilize Pakistan by creating militancy in Balochistan.

Returning to our earlier discussion, last year, Baloch Sub Nationalists and Baloch Salvation Front called for a shutter down strike in Balochistan on March 27 to observe it as Black Day. Since it is the date of legal accession of State of Kalat with Pakistan, therefore, the strike call was based on negative contemplation and wicked designs to misguide the Baloch, especially the youth. In order to obtain the foreign agenda against Pakistan, these hostile elements who distort the history, want that every year, this Black Day should be observed.

 

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

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Is the ‘fix’ in?

Is the ‘fix’ in?

 

 

 

 

By

Khawaja Daud Mazhar,

The Nation

 

 

Having endured all the barbs of the last two months or more, the PML-N ‘darbaris’ are again out in full swing daily, claiming how their erstwhile, thoroughly corrupt and in any other countries court of law who would have been declared a notorious and habitually corrupt person, is going to get a ‘clean chit’ from our highest court.

While it is almost mind boggling how they could lay claim to such a grossly asinine decision even before it has been announced, it would not be far from reality as they, the government of the day, has all the tools in their toolbox to snoop into the highest courts computers to find out what kind of decision is being penned down by the judges.

One has heard numerous talking heads on the ‘idiot box’ suddenly changing their ‘considered’ opinions and reputable columnists penning the same mantra in their recent columns in the newspapers, all this leaving those with just a little bit sanity, scratching their heads till what little hair left have fallen down in a heap next to their chairs.

What has changed so drastically within a few days? Yes, the COAS has been to Saudi Arabia and Qatar recently and Nawaz Sharif has visited Turkey for a sumptuous dinner. Were there messages delivered to the army top brass on these visits to let a mafia continue pillaging the state coffers without any hindrance? Was PM Nawaz Sharif given the ‘good’ news at that dinner in Qatar? And so relieved was he by this ‘bolt of lightening’, that he could not help but sing an Indian song in Karachi today?

For those still trying to figure out the guilt or innocence of the third time PM, one only needs to ask them to go through the final presentation of Sheikh Rashid in the Supreme Court. For any ordinary citizen of the country, the humiliation that Mr. Nawaz Sharif has suffered during this Panama gate trial would have been a ‘wall of shame’, but he goes and whistles a tune in public.

The multiple layers of lies and distortions meted out by the cabal of darbaris daily in defense of their ‘man’, would stun the wits out of those with the thickest of skins, but yet they continue again with a fervor unmatched for the last two weeks. Within this maelstrom of mendacity lies an urgent will to change the narrative, both of the judges and the establishment.

The question that begs to be answered, for if these rumblings of a ‘clean chit’ are to be believed is, what transpired in the last two weeks? Have the Honourable Judges of the Supreme Court been influenced, coerced or threatened to change their opinions contrary to their remarks in reaction to the incredulous presentations by the lawyers of the Sharif family during the hearings, or has the highest judiciary of this land, once again decided to have their reputations further tarnished?

It is also a given that the superior judges have not listened to anyone in the past, sparing the Sharif family, except for The Boots. As one retired Chief Justice told the writer almost two decades ago while watching a cricket match at Gaddafi Stadium, “When giving an important decision, our ears are pointed towards the ground for the echo of the boots”. So is one to believe that those in whose nursery this plant of the Sharif political dynasty was nurtured, have once again swiveled their baton to save him from a difficult judgment?

If those with Red Stripes have actually played a dirty game with the people of this country and their day of reckoning awaits them in the afterworld for sure. No Generals, nor the Supreme Court Judges can play with the destiny of this country any longer. That we have gained a reputation both as a banana republic and a slave of the West, is sure because our institutions have lately been shirking from their oath.

What is making our reputable armed forces the butt of jokes in the eyes of the nation and of those abroad, that they have not had the guts to catch and punish those who deliberately and shamelessly disgraced them through ‘Dawn Leaks’? Any surprise that there is evidence and a conviction all over the land that it was none other than the ‘queen’ in waiting who masterminded the whole affair? The Chief is questioned at his regular visits to the “formations” about the final results of the inquiry into this ugly and despicable affair, yet he puts forth nothing but excuses and promises of a report soon. How has it affected the morale of those young officers who take pride in the uniform that they wear as to how rubbery kneed their Chief is?

For those wearing the robes in that ‘House on the Constitution Avenue’ and who are thus referred to by mortals appearing in front of them as “My Lords”, let this be a reminder that upon your shoulders and in your pens, rests at stake the future of Pakistan. Will it continue to be ruled by corrupt and dishonest people who are to be allowed free licence to pillage its resources for their personal will, while their 20 crore subjects are walking around without any hope or future, or will this be the decision that will put our nation back on the moral footings that our leader Mohammad Ali Jinnah strived for.

The hour is near, and My Lords, you can either ‘Go gently into this great night or you can Go Boldly into this great night’. The people of Pakistan are praying that you choose to ‘Go Boldly’.

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A Sikh Man Was Harassed In Pakistan And What Happened Next Was Totally Unexpected! by parhlo.com

 

According to the West, Pakistanis are one of the most intolerant people in the world. That on the back of labeling Islam as a religion of fury instead of peace. As it is, the Pakistani diaspora that resides in different parts of the world is harassed due to their religion and color.

Have you ever wondered, what would happen if a non-Muslim was harassed on the streets of Pakistan? If he looked different, if his beliefs were different and if he didn’t sport the common Pakistani’s attire? Well, one social experiment conducted by a few Pakistanis will shed light on all these questions.

Source: logicalpakistani

Waqas Shah, Ahsan and their Sikh friend Jesse stepped up to see what would happen if a Sikh man was harassed in public. How would the common Pakistanis react if somebody was harassing a non-Muslim in front of them, would people react? Would they come to help? Would they join in on the hate or would they ignore?

Shockingly, the way these random strangers reacted to protect Jesse is something straight out of a fairy tale. No matter how the world looks at Pakistan and its people, this video showcases the true spirit of the country and its people. Random strangers, in all the different shots of the video, gathered to protect their Sikh brother from the racial hate.

The social experiment documented how Pakistanis involved themselves in somebody else’s business, for the better, to protect them and prove to the world that the white color on Pakistan’s flag which showcases the minorities will forever be upheld by the common man. One man was angered by the incident that he literally slapped Waqas, the guy acting in the experiment.

Source: logicalpakistani

The guys conducting the social experiment wanted to document the real face of Pakistan, which the media does not portray to the world. They kept saying mean and hurtful things to Jesse the Sikh, who in return would tell them he’s Pakistani but they kept asking him to move back to his country or Pakistan was only for Muslims.

The video concludes on a strong message: “This is Pakistan. If somebody is a non-Muslim, Pathan, Hindu, or anything else, we are all brothers. It doesn’t matter if they are Sindhi, Balochi or anyone else. We take them as brothers from our hearts and souls, no matter where they come from. Pakistan Zindabad!”

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Pakistan Day 23 March, 2017

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Pakistan Day

23 March 2017

Mubarak to Global Pakistanis:

Under Protection of الله ﺗﻌﺎﻟﯽٰ:

Be Warned All Enemies

No Earthly Power Can Harm it

Pakistan Day Demands National Unity

By Sajjad Shaukat

 

Although the Pakistan day is being celebrated every year on March 23, yet this time, this very day has come at a time when Pakistan stands at the crossroads of its destiny, facing internal and external challenges and threats to the national security of the country, which demands selfless national unity among all the segments of society.

 

The 23rd of March 1940 was a watershed in the history of the Sub Continent when All India Muslim League passed the Resolution in Lahore for the creation of an independent state. Now, it is popularly called as Pakistan Resolution. Earlier, in his address to the Muslim League at Allahabad in 1930, the idea of a homeland for Muslims in their majority areas had been envisioned by the poet Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal and had become the aspiration of Indian Muslims.

 

In fact, the British colonialists in connivance with majority Hindu population had manipulated and targeted Muslims through every possible way. In that background, Muslims started the struggle for a separate state.

 

Prior to the Lahore session of Muslim League, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had specified to this historical congregation of the Muslims, the watch-words of ‘Faith, Unity and Discipline’ which were not only necessary for waging the battle for an independent homeland, but also for present Pakistan. So, while struggling against the enemies, the essence of these watch-words is the unity which is the real spirit of the Pakistan Resolution.

 

However, it was due to the selfless practical unity among the Muslims under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam that Pakistan became a tangible reality. But that unity started declining after passing through various crises, and the result was the separation of East Pakistan in 1971, as the India manipulated differences between East Pakistan and the West Pakistan.

 

However, the 23rd March which is celebrating by every Pakistani as the Pakistan Day, has come at a time when Pakistan is facing multiple threats of grave nature, which are not only worrying all the citizens but are also creating division between the rulers and the opposition parties including rival politicians, taking the country towards anarchy.

 

The Pakistan Day has come at a time when Pakistan’s security forces have been facing a different war, while the enemy is also different, which employs subversive activities of various kinds which also include internal and external challenges. In these terms, Pakistan is in the state of new war, being waged by the Armed Forces and intelligence agencies against terrorists. In this respect, our Armed Forces have almost obtained their objectives in North Waziristan Agency (NWA) through military operation Zarb-e-Azb against the terrorists who had challenged the writ of the state and had frightened the entire nation by their terror acts. In Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Karachi and other parts of the country including tribal areas our security forces and law-enforcing agencies have broken the terror networks and restored peace by eliminating and capturing terrorists. Unlike the past, peace has, especially, been restored in Balochistan and Karachi.

Besides, Pakistan launched a nationwide military operation codenamed Radd-ul-Fasaad earlier this year, which includes broad-spectrum security and counter-terrorism operations in Punjab and other cities of the country, while continuing the ongoing operations. The move came after a series of deadly bombings across the country all through February, which killed hundreds of civilians.

 

According to various news releases of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistan’s security and law enforcement agencies have killed and arrested more than 600 suspects, terrorists and their facilitators, including capture of huge cache of arms and ammunition in a crackdown across the country, especially Punjab as part of the ongoing Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad. The ISPR disclosed that some suspected terrorists were killed during an exchange of fire with security personnel. It said some Afghan nationals and RAW agents were among the arrested suspects.

 

Nevertheless, during this very day, it is also of particular attention that since the government of the Balochistan province announced general pardon and protection to the Baloch militants as part of the reconciliation process, many insurgents and their leaders have surrendered their arms and decided to work for the development of Pakistan and the province. However, civil, federal and provincial governments are making strenuous efforts to restore complete peace and order in the province. For this purpose, a paramilitary committee has also been formed by the ruling party to hold negotiations with the disgruntled elements. And the former Chief of Army Staff Gen. Raheel Sharif also supports political settlement—general pardon to the insurgents in Balochistan, so that, development works including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which would bring unlimited benefits to the province and its people must be completed. Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa continues the same policy.

 

Unfortunately, it is because of lack of solidarity among our politicians, leaders, and media that foreign opportunists have been manipulating the chaotic situation of Pakistan in order to fulfill their secret agenda by destabilizing the country which is the only nuclear country in the Islamic World. In the past few years, nefarious designs of some foreign secret agencies like Indian RAW and Israeli Mossad which have tactical support of American CIA can be gauged from a number of anti-Pakistan developments such as their support to insurgency in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, separatism in Balochistan and targeted killings especially in Karachi coupled with subversive acts all over the country.

 

Pakistan which has become a special arena of this different war and has faced terror activities such as suicide attacks, bomb blasts, targeted killings, ruthless beheadings of the innocent people, assaults on security personnel and prominent religious figures. Besides blowing children schools and attacking the female teachers in order to deny education to girls, the terrorists, particularly of the Afghan-based Indian-backed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also targeted mosques, Imambargahs, mausoleums, temples, Churches and disgraced dead bodies. Their pitiless acts resulted into killings of several persons in Pakistan. Although terror attacks have been reduced, yet RAW, CIA, and Mossad which are based in Afghanistan and are in connivance with the terror outfits like TTP, Daesh and other similar militant groups—their affiliated outfits have again started these acts of sabotage in Pakistan.

And it is also due to lack of national unity that Pakistan is also facing multi-faceted crises such as load shedding of gas and electricity, soaring prices, unemployment, crimes, lack of health facilities, and dependence upon the US-led developed countries, IMF and World Bank for financial aid.

 

Externally, Pak Army and Rangers are, boldly, responding to India’s unprovoked firing at the Line of Control in Kashmir including Working Boundary in Sialkot and other sectors. While the fundamentalist party BJP led by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is implementing anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan agenda. In this context, BJP leader Dr. Subramaniam Swamy, a staunch promoter of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) stated on July 12, 2014, that India needed only two years to defeat Pakistan militarily, and the only solution of Kashmir was war, as “there is no peaceful, democratic solution.

 

Meanwhile, in response to the new Indian Army Chief, Gen. Bipin Rawat’s statement of January 3, 2017 about the so-called “surgical strikes” in Pakistani side of Kashmir, Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on January 5, 2016 rejected claims by his Indian counterpart Gen. Bipin Rawat about “so-called surgical strikes” and their possible recurrence. Gen. Qamar Bajwa made it clear that “Pakistan Armed Forces were fully geared to respond to any aggression by India.”

 

As regards the unity, no doubt, it was displayed among all segments of society, after the TTP massacred 132 school children at Army Public School and College in Peshawar on December 16, 2014—as the situation warranted bold and firm decisions to deal the menace of terrorism, especially the threat of the TTP and its banned affiliated groups which are still conducting subversive activities in Pakistan. In this regard, the government, encouraged by the resolve of public opinion responded prudently and lifted the moratorium on death penalty awarded to the criminals according to law. Taking note of the delicate moment, on January 2, 2015, political and military leaders agreed on a draft of legislative measures which paved the way for the establishment of special military trial courts. It was unanimously agreed that the 20 points (National Action Plan) enunciated in the All Parties Conference (APC) Resolution of December 24, 2014, shall be acted upon expeditiously—the bill as 22nd (Constitutional) Amendment has been enforced soon after its approval from the parliament. Now, special military courts have been established and the ruthless terrorists facing death penalty are rapidly being hanged. In this context, National Action plan must also be fully implemented to defeat the terrorists.

 

In fact, it is a war of every patriot Pakistani against terrorists, as the enemy is different, and it cannot leave the security forces alone to wage this different conflict of history. In this context, Pakistan Day demands the cooperation of every citizen, politician, and religious leader with the security forces and agencies to defeat these merciless terrorists.

 

While emphasizing national unity against terrorists, the former Army Chief and the present one Gen. Bajwa has stated the We will continue to go after the inhuman beasts, their facilitators till their final elimination.

 

Taking cognizance of the present critical situation, Pakistan Day demands selfless national unity which must be shown practically. This significant day demands that our political leaders must pledge that they will not manipulate their regional and provincial differences at the cost of the national interests so as to grab political power. In this connection, a blind dedication to one’s own race, tribe and creed should not be allowed to create hatred in one group against the other. They must avoid exploiting the ongoing thorny issues in order to increase their vote bank at the cost of the integration of the country. If any controversy arises, it can better be settled in consonance with the constitution. For this aim, in order to castigate the conspiracy of the external enemies against the integrity of the country, some of our political leaders, media houses and human rights groups must also stop manipulating any crisis against Pak Army and country’s primary secret agency, ISI whose image are deliberately being tarnished by the external plotters.

 

True and selfless unity against the foreign enemies requires that our rulers and leaders of other political parties and must create national cohesion among various segments of society. Particularly, our electronic media should give a matching response to the malicious propaganda of the US-led some western countries including India and Israel which are distorting the image of Pakistan, its army, and ISI.

 

Especially, on this very day, media must also project a soft image of Pakistan by highlighting national heroes and tourism sights of the county.

 

Nonetheless, at this crucial time, Pakistan’s survival lies in selfless national unity and strong cohesion as at present, even a layman can note that our country is in chaos and it seems as if there is a “war of all against all” in the sense of ‘Hobbesian state of nature.”

 

On the occasion of Pakistan Day, we must follow the essence of the Pakistan Resolution in real terms by displaying selfless unity in practical terms, which is not possible unless the government, the opposition leaders, civil societies and media owners including all other segments of society pledge to sign a charter of integration which is very necessary to pull the country out of the ongoing serious crises and threats.

 

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: The US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

 

Email: sajjad_logic@yahoo.com

 

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Holy well: ‘Water held sacred by Sikhs to be exported’

ETPB chairman says arrangements are being made to print Guru Garanth Sahib in the country. PHOTO: REUTERS

ETPB chairman says arrangements are being made to print Guru Granth Sahib in the country. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: Preparations were underway to start export of Amrit Jal – water from a well in Nankana Sahib held sacred by the Sikh community, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq told the APP on Sunday.

He said the ETPB was also making arrangements for printing Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of the community, in the country.

Farooq said the first initiative he had taken as the board chairman was to restore the Be Be Nanki well in Nankana Sahib. He said the board would soon start bottling and exporting water from the holy well.

 

Farooq said the decision to print the Guru Granth Sahib had been taken to facilitate Sikh yatrees visiting the country from abroad. He said they would no longer need to bring the book with them.

He said yatrees had to pass various checkpoints set up for security reasons at their arrival in the country and during travel inside the country. “There is a possibility that the holy book may get desecrated during the journey,” he said. He said that with the printing and availability of the book at gurdwaras and other holy sites the community would not need to carry it during the journey. Assistance would be sought from the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), India, and the Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee for printing, he said.

The ETPB chairman said the number of pilgrims from foreign countries on Sikh and Hindu religious occasions was increasing every year. The ETPB had decided to register travel agents to facilitate these visitors.

Farooq said the ETPB had undertaken several initiatives to promote infrastructure at religious sites of minority communities. He said construction of a residential complex and installation of a water treatment plant was underway at the Katas Raj temple. He said work on the two projects would be completed before the arrival of Hindu pilgrims in November.

Thousands of Sikhs converge at Panja Sahib

Farooq said renovation work had been started at all gurdwaras and mandirs in the country. He said the board was installing a turbine at Gurdwara Punja Sahib, Hassan Abdal, to generate electricity from water.

He said these guards would receive training from police officers.

The ETPB chairman said the board was considering a proposal to construct a multi-storey plaza on a property it owned in a prime commercial zone in Lahore.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2016.

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