Bikram Singh Majithia, NRI affairs minister, Punjab, on Friday stressed the need to educate Americans about Sikhs' separate identity to avoid any untoward incident, besides seeking US cooperation for more investments in Punjab.
This was discussed at a meeting with Republican and former Congressman from Pennsylvania (US) Curt Weldon, who called on Majithia. The minister said the US should launch campaigns in association with Sikhs so that they would not be targeted on the basis of mistaken identity.
He stated that Sikhs were being targeted in the US even after the firing at the Oak Creek gurdwara in Wisconsin. "There is an urgent need to launch community and confidence-building programmes," said Majithia, adding that Sikhs had always contributed towards nation-building, growth and prosperity of whichever nation they had settled.
He said Sikhs had contributed richly to the growth of the US in every sphere, be it agriculture, entrepreneurship, academics and the armed forces.
Talking about the Wisconsin incident, Majithia said it was very unfortunate that since the 9/11 attacks in 2001, Sikhs were being targeted because of their attire. He appreciated the US President's gesture of ordering the US flag to be flown at half-mast as a mark of respect to victims of the gurdwara tragedy.
Lauding the contribution of Sikhs in the development and prosperity of the US, Weldon said there was a large and dense population of Sikhs settled there and all possible cooperation would be provided to Sikhs by the US for safeguarding their interests.