By: Maemuna Sadaf
Baba Guru Nanak was the founder of Sikhism. He was among the first 10 Gurus of Sikhism. His birth is celebrated all over the world on the “Kartik Pooranmashi”, the full moon day in the month of Katak. The month of katak falls among October, November. Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Baba Guru Nanak. It is the most sacred place for Sikhs. Every year Sikh from around the globe visit Nankana Sahib, on shrine of Baba Guru Nanak.
In Pakistan, every community enjoys its religious freedom. Minorities are also living in peace and harmony in the country. In Pakistan, Sikh community is living their lives with full religious freedom. Every year, Sikhs visit Nankana Sahib and other sacred places on different occasions. Nearly, 20,000 Sikh yatrees from all over the world and interior Sindh visited Nankana Sahib this year. Pakistan provides facilities and welcomes these pilgrims. Along with the start of Katak month, Sikh pilgrims started visiting Pakistan to participate 549th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. The visits have been started from 21 November to till 30th November. In Pakistan, special facilities have been provided to the Sikh pilgrims. Special preparation of celebration of birth of Baba Guru Nanak is made.
This year Pakistan issued around 3800 visas to Sikh pilgrims around the world for the participation in the event. Pakistan took another initiative for Sikhs this year. Kartarpur corridor has been opened for Baba Guru Nanak’s Birth anniversary. As Reported by Reuters “The corridor indicates a thaw in relations between the two nuclear armed foes”. However, on the Indian side, at times, seeks to create controversy around these visits. Sikhs of both countries have happy sentiments in this regard.
On the other hand, minorities along with Sikhs are suppressed in India. Religious freedom along with personal dignity of lower class Hindus and minorities is deteriorated by Upper class Hindus. Sikhs are India’s estranged citizens. They are victims of annihilation and humiliation with complete support of Indian Government. They have a grieved history of injustice. The painful memories of 1980’s and lack of justice added fuel to fire when Indian Commissioner refused to meet Sikh pilgrims. In 2017, India has protested formally so-called Khalistan related banner displayed at the Gurdawara Punja sahib. Subsequently, the Indian side protested that their High Commissioner and other diplomats were denied access to meet the visiting Sikh pilgrims from India on three different occasions. India’s act of not meeting pilgrims resulted in negative publicity of Pakistan. India keeps on propagating against Pakistan.
Writing more! Indian government’s betrayal behavior made Sikhs to develop hatred towards them. Continued attacks and religious insecurity, confrontation with upper class Hindus made Sikhs to think for separation of Punjab from India. Hence, Khalistan movement started. It is noticed that Indian embassy and consular officials are barred to enter Gurdawaras in many countries such as Canda, UK, USA, Italy etc. Earlier, India imposed ban on Sikhs to travel in Pakistan. In 2017, Sikhs protested to end the pilgrimage ban on Sikhs. India keeps on showing tactics against Pakistan by blaming Pakistan for insurgencies and terrorism activities. On the other hand, it has been proven that India itself is involved in these activities.
Concluding more! Being neighboring countries, India should rectify its past behavior. India should stop playing against Pakistan. It is need of the hour for both India and Pakistan to look into social issues of their public. Opening Kartarpura corridor is a good will gesture. But this good will gesture should not be considered as weakness. India should also show good will towards Pakistan and avoid anti-Pakistan policies.