28 November 2018:
Today’s historic inauguration of the Kartarpur Project by Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership at an impressive ceremony has been warmly greeted by Sikh representatives as a bold, far- sighted and statesmanlike move. The World Sikh Parliament (WSP) has described the ground-breaking initiative as a fitting tribute to Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji at a time when his 549th birth anniversary was being celebrated by his followers across the world.
In a statement issued by the WSP the move is also recognised as an important step in boosting the ever-closer friendship between the Sikh nation and the people and government of Pakistan.
WSP members attended the ceremony in Kartarpur Sahib and thanked the Pakistani leadership for unilaterally implementing the Sikh proposals, despite India’s decades-long obstruction. It was remarkable to witness how India was forced to suddenly change its position on the corridor over the last week in order to belated accept the de facto establishment of the corridor by Pakistan.
In a separate development, WSP members called on the Governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province, Chaudhry Mohammed Sarwar, to express appreciation for the corridor development. They called on him to help facilitate the arrangements that will be needed to accommodate tens of thousands of Sikh pilgrims that will be visiting Pakistan in November 2019 to celebrate the Guru’s milestone 550th birth anniversary. Pakistan will be releasing a ‘Nanakshahi’ coin and postage stamps to mark that event, with the Guru’s birth place at Nankana Sahib near Lahore being the focus of those celebrations.
WSP Member Joga Singh spoke of the sheer joy he witnessed at the Kartarpur ceremony as well as the huge sense anticipation for next year’s Gurpurab celebrations in Nankana Sahib. He said that the
WSP will, along with the Sikhs of Pakistan, work hand in glove with the Pakistani authorities to make those events a further success. In response to the negative comments from the Indian Foreign Minister and the Chief Minister of Indian-controlled Punjab, which have struck an incongruous note amidst the diplomatic pleasantries in Kartarpur, he said that the Sikhs and Pakistan will need to work closely to ensure the Kartarpur project is not sabotaged by the hawks of Hindutva politics. The hysterical Indian reaction to Imran Khan’s reference to Kashmir during his Kartarpur speech was a stark reminder of the task ahead. The WSP is committed to secure Sikh self-determination in Indian-controlled Punjab and stands shoulder to shoulder with self-determinists in Kashmir, based on fundamental rights enshrined in international law.
Manpreet Singh UK Member Supreme executive council World Sikh Parliament also enlighten World Sikh News on the wording of Statement issued by WSP on Kartarpur Corridor is as follow.
FULL TEXT OF THE WSP STATEMENT ON THE KARTARPUR CORRIDOR
“World Sikh Parliament Conveys Sikh Nation’s Heartfelt Appreciation of Pakistan’s Ground Breaking Kartarpur Sahib Corridor Initiative”
28 November 2018, Sri Kartarpur Sahib, Pakistan. Today’s laying of the foundation of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor at this sacred place by Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan is an historic event for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it represents a very special manifestation of the message of universal brotherhood taught by Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji who passed on to his Heavenly abode from here in 1539. There can be no better tribute to his memory from our Pakistani friends.
This occasion will also be a milestone in the burgeoning friendship between the Sikh nation and Pakistan which has, once again, shown its genuine commitment to its minorities in general and the Sikhs in particular. That commitment, so often overlooked by vested interests, is one we Sikhs salute. It sits in stark contrast to the genocidal mistreatment of minorities across the border where the Sikh religion is not even accorded constitutional recognition as a distinct religion and where the desecration of the Sikh scriptures has been repeatedly carried out by those enjoying the shameful patronage of ruling politicians.
The coming year will see Sikhs visit Pakistan in their tens of thousands in the lead up to the 550th Gurpurab celebrations which will conclude in Nankana Sahib in November 2019. The willingness of the Pakistan authorities to honour Sikh sentiments and the undoubted warmth of the people here will be a powerful driver of an enthusiastic engagement between us over the months and years ahead.
The Sikhs have called for the creation of this corridor for decades and are deeply appreciative of the Government of Pakistan for unilaterally taking this initiative despite the many years of unfortunate, reprehensible resistance from the Indian establishment. India’s sudden acceptance of the corridor proposal in recent days, albeit belated, is welcome. It is a direct result of a far-sighted act of statesmanship by Imran Khan and his colleagues. We sincerely thank them and are overjoyed to see these developments at a time when Sikhs across the globe are commemorating the 549th birth anniversary of the founder of our faith.