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20220106

Pakistan systematically targeting Sikh minority community

Islamabad: Pakistan is systematically targeting the Sikh minorities to hurt their sentiments. As per Al Arabiya Post, irregularities in the audit of Kartarpur Corridor (KC), Gulab Devi Lahore underpass name changed to Abdul Sattar Edhi and prohibition on Sikhs to carry sword inside government offices in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are cases in point. Nabeela Irfan, Deputy Commissioner, Narowal in a letter addressed in December last year to Maj Gen Kamal Azfar, DG, Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has alleged that the organization has misappropriated funds of KC and is refusing to provide account documents to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Auditor General of Pakistan responsible for the audit of KC. Nabeel has also alleged that irregularities have come to notice in a report submitted by Dr Shoaib Salim ADC, Narowal. The report contains the following irregularities amounting to approximately 165 crore PKR (Pakistan Rupee). A bill of 7 lakh cement bags has been deposited while actual usage was of around 4.29 lakh cement bags, reported Al Arabiya Post.The base of the buildings has been kept 11.5 feet deep instead of 18 feet and the bricks bought from Chaudhary Mukhtar, Brick Kiln owner, Shakargarh were of low quality while the bill was submitted of good quality bricks. Moreover, Global Nobel Company which was given major work of KC is owned by one Brig (Retd) Yousuf Mirza which was constituted just three days prior to awarding of KC Project contract, reported Al Arabiya Post. Another glowing example of the plight of Sikhs in Pakistan is changing the name of Gulab Devi underpass situated opposite Gulab Devi Chest Hospital to Abdul Sattar Edhi underpass by the Punjab government on December 21. This was announced by Usman Buzdar, CM Punjab while inaugurating the renovated underpass. (Gulab Devi was the mother of Lala Lajpat Rai. Lajpat Rai had established the trust to build and run a TB hospital in memory of his mother in 1927), reported Al Arabiya Post. Meanwhile, Peshawar High Court in its December 23 order prohibited Sikhs from carrying the 'Kirpan' while entering Government offices including Judicial courts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. High Court has further asked Sikhs to apply for arms license to carry the sword in person. Peshawar based Sikhs had filed a case in court (July 2020) for allowing them to carry the sword in public places citing that it was part of their Sikh religion and Amritdhari Sikhs have to wear the sword under Sikh tenets (Part of 5 Kakars), reported Al Arabiya Post. In a letter addressed on December 21 to Gurpal Singh, Peshawar based Sikh leader, the Additional Registrar of Peshawar High court directed that the sword has been declared a licensed weapon and thus Sikhs have to secure a license for the same.

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