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Posts Tagged Hazrat Guru Nanak رحمة الله

Sikh businesses commit to provide massive £500m injection into Pakistan Gurdwaras as Imran Khan led government make positive overtures to UK Sikhs

Sikh businesses commit to providing massive £500m injection into Pakistan Gurdwaras as Imran Khan led the government to make positive overtures to UK Sikhs

London – 10 June 2019

Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari the Chairman of the Pakistan Tourism Board and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan met Sikh community representatives at The Rembrandt Hotel in London on 10 June 2019.  The meeting was to discuss religious tourism projects in Pakistan following the historic laying of foundation stones for the Kartarpur Corridor on either side of the border in November 2018.

 

 

 

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Pakistan also announces wide arrangement for the celebration of Gurpurab

Around 100,000 Sikhs from Canada, US, Malaysia and other countries also want to visit Pakistan. Photo:tribune.com.pk

In Lahore, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) decided this year to grant visas to 10,000 Sikhs from India to participate in the 550th birthday celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak. Pakistani officials have given a green signal to Shiromani committee, the largest representatives of Sikhs, and other small groups to take part in the celebrations. After mutual consultation, the two bodies decided that the number of pilgrims, in accordance with the 1974 Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines, will be increased from 3,000 to 10,000. Further, there will be no restrictions on the number of Sikhs coming to Pakistan from other countries.

Pakistan will issue visas to the Shiromani community and other groups, according to the quota. All such groups will provide a list of pilgrims to EPTB; no other individual apart from these will be granted a visa. Approximately 100,000 Sikhs want to visit Pakistan from India, Canada, the United States, United Kingdom, Malaysia and several other countries. However, making preparations for and ensuring the security of all attendees on such a large scale is not possible, said an EPTB senior official while speaking to Express-News. However, the final decision on the matter rests with the government and the federal interior ministry.

Although Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday is in November later this year according to the Roman calendar, the Sikh community will celebrate the occasion according to the Nanak Shahi calendar in November 2019. Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Sardar Muhammad Yousuf has already announced plans to issue a memorable coin commemorating the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

 

The Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha) London supported by Peter Virdee organised the event where several significant announcements were made by Sayed Bukhari.  Many of the Sikhs that spoke congratulated the Pakistan government for the stand taken regarding not only the establishment of the Kartarpur Corridor but also other measures being taken for the 550th Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Sayed Bukhari made a series of specific commitments regarding visas for religious reasons, including the possibility of visas online and visas on arrival.  However, after being pushed on this issue during a question-answer session he said he would ensure the establishment of tourism desks in Pakistani embassies and dedicated staff to facilitate visas for those taking part in Yatras in Pakistan later this year.

He also made a specific commitment on connectivity whereby high standard free buses would connect all the main Gurdwaras in Pakistan.  Several speakers also made comments about the Pakistan authorities needing to ensure the preservation of the rich religious and national heritage of the Sikhs rather than allow renovation by some that have little or no appreciation of preservation.

A Pakistani journalist made a generous gesture of donating land for the Pakistani authorities to build accommodation near Kartarpur.  However, this was overshadowed by Peter Virdee making a huge financial commitment by announcing the setting up of a trust under the name of Guru Nanak Dev Ji  رحمة الله.  He said the Peter Virdee Foundation and other business people he had discussed the project with were prepared to inject a massive £500m.  He said money was not an issue for the Sikh community as they were prepared to lay down their lives for their Gurdwaras.

The announcement concluded an excellent event with speakers alongside Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari including Peter Virdee, Gurpreet Singh Anand, Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), Preet Kaur Gill MP, Neena Gill MEP, Lord Suri, Sukhjeevan Singh, the Spokesperson for the Sikh Council UK, Dabinderjit Singh, Manvir Singh Bhogal and Justice Anup Singh.

Gurjeet Singh
National Press Secretary
Sikh Federation (UK)

www.sikhfeduk.com |sikhfederationuk@yahoo.co.uk | facebook.com/Sikh Federation UK | twitter @Sikhfeduk

 

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The Sikh Federation (UK) is by far the largest, most prominent and influential campaigning Sikh organisation in the UK that leads to political engagement for the British Sikh community.  The organisation is often referred to as the first and only Sikh political party.  The Sikh community in the UK and throughout the diaspora look to the organisation for leadership and direction.

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