The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has reminded the Pakistan government of its commitment to build a university at Nankana Sahib, birthplace of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak.
SGPC secretary Manjit Singh, on behalf of SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, gave a memorandum about it to Isphanyar M Bhandara, member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, who with his wife, Jasmeen, was on Tuesday at the Golden Temple here to pay obeisance. SGPC additional secretary Daljit Singh Bedi honoured the Pakistani political leader and his wife.
In the memorandum, the SGPC stated that Pakistan had done not much work on the university, even as the project would go a long way in bringing the neighbouring countries closer. The SGPC also sought land from the government of Pakistani Punjab in Lahore for a “serai” (rest house) for the Sikh pilgrims. “At times, the shortage of space in Lahore gurdwaras forces the pilgrims to find private accommodation,” the document stated.
The SGPC also asked for a Pakistan visa centre at Amritsar “to make it convenient for the people of Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir, and Himachal Pradesh to visit the neighbouring country”. It raised again the demand for a “pilgrim corridor” from Dera Baba Nanak on the Indian side to the Kartarpur Sahib shrine on the Pakistani side, where Guru Nanak had spent his last days, and asked the two governments to follow it up.
The SGPC also stated that Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi was selective in granting visas to the Sikh pilgrims, and often struck names off the list that was forwarded.