NEW DELHI: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday lodged a protest against Pakistan’s proposal to allow only Sikh pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, pointing out that Guru Nanak Dev was a universal Guru, revered by followers of all religions, especially Hindus.
Amarinder has urged the Union Government to take up the issue with Islamabad when the latter sends its draft agreement for regulating entry into its territory through the Kartarpur Corridor.
Amarinder said while Islamabad was well within its rights to set terms and conditions relating to its territorial safety and security, it should take into consideration the fact that the first Sikh Guru’s ideology is not confined to Sikhs but is emulated by people of all faiths.
Sikh ethos prescribes non-discrimination, with even the concept of a langar being a service for all, said the CM, adding that all gurdwaras are open to everyone, without a religious bias.
A large number of Hindus in India were ardent followers of Sri Guru Nanak Dev, and it was their cherished dream to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, which was closely associated with the first Sikh Guru, he added.
Amarinder also objected to the condition of the number of pilgrims proposed by the neighbour. It was not correct to limit the number of people to 15 per group, he said, adding that individual pilgrims should also be permitted. Advocating ‘khulle Darshan (Open access)’ for devotees, he further said that the number of pilgrims per day should not be restricted to 500 per day especially in November 2019, when the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev will be celebrated.