By Ravinder Singh Robin
Amritsar, Sep 13 (SocialNews.XYZ) As part of its efforts for organising religious congregations in Pakistan, dedicated to centenary of Saka (massacre) Sri Panja Sahib, a special delegation of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Tuesday met Pakistan's acting high commissioner in Delhi and demanded to issue maximum number of visas to Sikh pilgrims to attend different centenary congregations on this occasion.
This delegation met Pakistan's acting high commissioner Aftab Hasan Khan and handed over a letter written by SGPC President.
Giving information about the historical significance of Saka Sri Panja Sahib, the SGPC delegation told High Commission that the centenary of this Saka is being marked by SGPC at a large scale on October 30. It was told that as per the sentiments of the Sangat (community), the SGPC wants to organise large congregation at the place where this massacre took place in 1922, to offer tributes to the martyrs.
The sentiment of Sangat was apprised to the High Commission that the community largely wants to participate in these congregations dedicated to historical day, therefore, visas should be granted to Sikh pilgrims with open heart.
The delegation also sought early permission for an advance delegation of SGPC to visit Pakistan, so that preparations and complete arrangements of centenary congregations could be made in time in coordination with Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
The delegation leader Karnail Singh Panjoli and Rajinder Singh Mehta said that the High Commission of Pakistan has also been asked to grant maximum visas to Sikh pilgrims even during routine times as well.
They said that although special jathas (groups) of pilgrims visit Sikh shrines located in Pakistan every year on four different occasions including Gurpurb of Guru Nanak Dev, but the Sangat wishes to visit shrines even on other days. The Sangat wishes that they should not face any inconvenience in getting visas for visiting Gurdwara Sahibs and can visit Sikh shrines whenever they want by getting visas.
Panjoli and Mehta told that acting Pakistan high commissioner assured the SGPC delegation that maximum visas will be granted to pilgrims on the historical occasion of centenary day, for which, the Sikh bodies should prepare and send the lists at the earliest.
Panjoli said that the lists of Sikh pilgrims from Punjab and Haryana states will be prepared by the SGPC, and Sarna brothers of Shiromani Akali Dal Delhi will be preparing the lists of Delhi pilgrims.
During the meeting, on behalf of SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami, the delegation expressed its sympathy over the situation in Pakistan due to floods and assured that if Pakistan government gives permission to SGPC, all possible support would be provided after discussion in the executive committee meeting.