Badal request PM and Pak PM to restore management of Sri Kartarpur Sahib shrine to Pak sikh gurdwara
Chandigarh, (Gurpreet) – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today urged Prime minister Narendra Modi to intervene and request the Pakistan government to restore the management of the Sri Kartarpur Sahib shrine to the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) and scrap the nine member Project Management Unit (PMU) established under the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) to manage the shrine.
Requesting the Prime Minister to take up this issue with his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan urgently, the SAD President also requested that the External Affairs ministry also be tasked with the responsibility to restore the status quo of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur at the earliest.
Stating that the Pakistan government’s decision to establish a Project Management Unit (PMU) consisting of non-Sikhs had hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community worldwide, Mr Sukhbir Badal said this also against the ‘maryada’ associated with Sikh shrines. “The Sikh community is viewing this decision as a direct attack on the religious rights of the Sikh community of Punjab. It is for the first time that the management of a Sikh shrine has been taken out of the purview of the PSGPC and handed over to the ETPB”.
Mr Badal also condemned the logic being put out by the Pakistan establishment that this decision was needed to rake in financial returns from the “project”. He said the Darbar Sahib gurdwara and the land adjoining it which was tilled by the first Sikh Guru – Sri Guru Nanak Dev was revered by millions as a sacred pilgrimage site. “The Pakistan government should not run it like a money making project. It should also ensure the PSGPC manages the shrine to ensure prescribed ‘rehat maryada’ is absorbed”.
Demanding an immediate course correction by the Pakistan government, the SAD President also issued a personal appeal to its Prime Minister Imran Khan asking him to direct the State’s Religious Affairs ministry to scrap the nine member project management unit and hand over the shrine to the PSGPC. “Due financial and infrastructure aid should be given to PSGPC to manage and maintain the holy shrine”, Mr Badal added.