High-Level Sad Delegation Led by Sukhbir Singh Badal Meets Pak High Commissioner
New Delhi, December 20: A high-level delegation of the Shiromani Akali Dal led by party President Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal today met Pakistan High Commissioner and sought immediate intervention of the Government of Pakistan to stop forceful conversion in the North West Frontier Province where Sikhs are being forced to convert to Islam.
Mr. Balwinder Singh Bhunder Member Parliament, Mr. Tarlochan Singh Ex-Chairman National Minorities Commission, Mr. Manjit Singh GK President Delhi Sikh Gurudwara Management Committee (DSGMC) and Mr. Manjinder Singh Sirsa General Secretary DSGMC and S. Paramjeet Singh Chandhok Executive Member were also part of the delegation.
Delegation impressed upon the High Commissioner that instead of forcing the Sikhs to convert to Islam Pakistan should give credit to these brave Sikh families who have preferred to stay in Pakistan and not migrate to India in 1947 and risked their lives to stay in their villages. It also demanded that strict action against the defaulters should be taken without any delay and these families should be given full protection. It also demanded that a delegation of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC) should be allowed to visit families.
Mr. Badal also brought to the notice of the Pakistan High Commissioner that Akal Takht is the supreme religious authority of the Sikhs and dates decided by it on historical Sikh functions should be adhered to by the GOP. He said that instead of encouraging dissensions in the sikh community on religious affairs GOP should consult the SGPC which is suprese elected body of the Sikh community. He lamented that a small group of unelected representatives has been given preference by the GOP and urged it to take on board SGPC to resolve issues related with Sikh affairs.
Pakistan High Commissioner told the visiting delegation that an officer of local administration had an altercation with Sikh community members. He told that the concerned officer has been suspended immediately for using objectionable language and an enquiry committee has been formed to probe the issue which will submit its report at the earliest. He also told the delegation that it can assure Sikhs residing in different nations that Sikhs of Pakistan are very much part of the country and they will never face any problem in this regard.
Mr. Badal thanked the Pakistan High Commissioner and hoped that in future members of the Sikh community can live without fear and hatred in that nation and celebrate Sikh festivals as per the guidance of Sri Akal Takht Sahib.
Meanwhile, Mr. Badal also took up the issue with External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj who assured the SAD President that ministry will take up the issue of forcible conversions with the Pakistan Government at an appropriate level and safety and security of the Sikhs residing in that country will be ensured at any cost.