Amarinder praises PGPC for upkeep of gurdwaras

Capt Amarinder Singh, who reached here around 9 p.m. to receive the nagar kirtan, being taken out by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) in the gold palanquin and carrying the copy of Guru Granth Sahib from Bangla Sahib Gurdwara (Delhi) to Nankana Sahib Gurdwara (Pakistan), said he had taken up the matter with a number of presidents of the SGPC but without any positive response.

'I don't know about the plight of all Gurdwaras in Pakistan. But I can claim that certain historical gurdwaras, including Gurdwara Panja Sahib, have been maintained by the PGPC effectively by keeping their originality and heritage aspect intact,' he pointed out, adding that he was a votary of the fact that historical gurdwaras should be preserved in their original shapes and structures.

Capt Amarinder Singh, who was accompanied by his MP wife Ms Preneet Kaur and cabinet colleagues while addressing a press conference, expressed his deep anguish over the non-participation of the SGPC in the nagar kirtan which, he claimed, was the first of its kind in the country after Independence.

When asked that what would be the impact of the situation in Punjab where the SGPC was not participating in the nagar kirtan and the Congress government was being accused by it (SGPC) that the Congress government was interfering in the religious affairs of the Sikhs by extending cooperation to the nagar kirtan, he said the SGPC should know that he (Capt Amarinder Singh) was a Sikh and he was going to Nankana Sahib as an humble devotee of the Sikh religion.

'Moreover, it is not the domain of the SGPC to celebrate such occasions or organise such events. I am joining the procession as a Sikh, and I along with Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, president, DSGMC, would use this occasion to bring India and Pakistan more close. People of both countries are very enthusiastic about this nagar kirtan, which has been getting huge response on its way to Nankana Sahib,' claimed the Chief Minister.

He added that Pakistan Punjab's Chief Minister Chaudhary Prevez Elahi and he himself had been striving hard for the opening up of the Hussainiwala border in Ferozepore district for trade to boost the economic development of both countries. A joint trade fair of both Punjabs would be organised in Amritsar shortly. He said the Lahore-Amritsar bus service would be a reality soon.

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