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India Include peace corridor in Indo-Pak talks: Sikhs

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. spnadmin

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    CHANDIGARH: Ahead of secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan, the global Sikh community has now raised the long pending issue of Kartarpur Sahib corridor, with the hope that this religious and emotional issue would act as a balm to soothe sore relations between the two nations.

    While the demand for a corridor to the historical Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib — which is located barely 1.5km inside the Pakistan territory from the Indian border near Dera Baba Nanak — has been a long pending one with various Sikh organizations appealing to the two countries from time to time, the United Sikh Mission (USM), a California based NGO, recently approached Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi to raise the issue with the neighbouring country in the coming days.

    “We have received a very encouraging response from both Rahul Gandhi and the Prime Minister, and it seems that the Sikh community’s ardent wish may finally come true now,” Rashpal Singh Dhindsa, USM chairman, told TOI from California. Naming the project as a ‘peace corridor’, thereby giving an emotional hue to the issue, he added, “The one (corridor) which would bring lasting peace between the two countries.”

    “It would be great if the issue is taken up during the upcoming secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan as it would bring remarkable results, especially since the solution to the problem is at hand and very doable,” said Punjab MLA Jassi Khangura, who was an NRI from UK till recently — before he shifted to India and contested elections successfully. “All it requires is a reasonable amount of will power on both the sides,” added Jassi, who receives similar requests from Sikhs in UK and elsewhere during his frequent visits abroad.

    The gurdwara holds a special place in the heart of Sikhs as it was here that the first Sikh master, Guru Nanak Dev, spent his last years. While Hindus and Muslims then had built their respective shrines at the place, a gurdwara was constructed later by the Maharaja of Patiala, Bhupinder Singh.

    However, after the partition of the country, the gurdwara was out of bounds for those who chose to stay back in India. The distance of the gurdwara from this side of the border is so small that the shrine is visible to the naked eye. On special religious occasions, a ‘sangat’ (congregation) on this side of the border can listen to hymns emanating from the gurdwara on the other side of the border. The community has been seeking a corridor to the gurdwara which could facilitate their visit to pay obeisance without obtaining visa or passport.

    Include peace corridor in Indo-Pak talks: Sikhs - Chandigarh - City - The Times of India
     
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