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|February 18, 1999||
Sikh leaders welcome Sharief's gesture
Sikh leaders have acclaimed Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharief's reported statement that Islamabad will allow renovation and construction works at Nankana sahib and other Sikh shrines in his country.
Sharief had announced yesterday that Indians would be allowed to renovate and reconstruct Sikh and Hindu shrines in Pakistan.
Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee President Jaswant Singh Sethi today welcomed Sharief's statement, but said the permission was yet to be confirmed.
"However, if the Pakistani prime minister allows us to carry out renovation of holy shrines in that country, that will indeed be a welcome news for the community.
"We have no financial problems at all. However, Sharief's offer to 'contribute' is also appreciated,'' he said.
"Baba Harbans Singh (who carries out the kar seva) will be requested to lead the seva at Sikh shrines in Pakistan in the event Sharief confirms the permission," Sethi said.
Jathedar Onkar Singh Thapar, member of the Khalsa tercentenary committee set up by the prime minister, described the Pakistani premier's statement as a step further in strengthening cultural ties.
"The two countries share common culture and steps like these augur well for bilateral relations," he said.
National Akali Dal President Paramjeet Singh Pamma urged Sikh religious bodies, including the DSGMC, to plan arrangements for the seva before the Pakistani government makes a formal announcement in this regard.
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