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World Punjabi Conference from today
Posted by Balvinder Singh S Bal Send Email to Author on Thursday, 1/29/2004 10:20 PM MST
Johar leads 145-member delegation to Pakistan
World Punjabi Conference from today
Our Correspondent

Wagah (Amritsar), January 29
A 145-member group, including Punjabi writers, scholars, folk artistes, mediapersons, led by Minister for Higher Education Harnam Dass Johar today crossed over to Lahore to attend three-day World Punjabi Conference.

Dr Satinder Singh Noor, an eminent Punjabi critic and senior member of the group, said the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, would join the conference tomorrow. He said it would be a great opportunity for Chief Ministers of both Punjabs to work out a joint strategy to promote business and goodwill, West Punjab Chief Minister, Pervez Elahi will receive Capt Amarinder Singh at the border.

Mr Johar before crossing over to Pakistan said it was going to be a big family reunion for him as there were many close relatives, who had stayed back after Partition in Attock district.

Mr Johar said he wished that India and Pakistan should remove visa restrictions altogether as done in the case of Nepal and Bhutan. Both Punjabs had suffered tremendous trauma during Partition and now the time has come that they should live brothers and contribute towards the economic prosperity of this region, he added.

Punjabi folk singer Pammi Bai was excited about his trip to Lahore where he will perform during the conference. Talking to The Tribune, Pammi Bai said Punjabi artistes from India and Pakistan should join hands to preserve their rich cultural heritage and Punjabi music which had already created new wave in the international arena.

He has composed a special song titled “Dilli sukh mangdi, Lahore sukh mangda, tali raba mereya khatra jung da” which he will render during the conference. He said he was carrying with him the message of peace, harmony and goodwill for his Punjabi brothers across the border.

Dr Noor, a former Professor of Punjabi at Delhi University and president of the Punjabi Academy, said he would help to set up Punjabi departments in the universities and colleges in Pakistan for both Gurmukhi and Persian script. He lauded the role of great Punjabi scholar Fakhar Zaman who had organised three such conferences to bring Punjabis from all over the globe at one platform.

‘Clear’ Tohra’s visit to Pak
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, January 29
Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman, National Minorities Commission (NMC), has urged Mr Yashwant Sinha, External Affairs Minister, to clear the visit of Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SGPC President, to Pakistan.

In a letter to the minister, the chairman stated that Mr Tohra had sought permission to settle the issue of Sikh shrines in Pakistan where the demand was to install a baptised Sikh to head the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (PSGPC) instead of a Muslim. At present, Mr Sham Singh is co-chairman of the PSGPC along with a Muslim.

Mr Tarlochan Singh urged that the reported statement of the Pakistan President, Gen Pervez Musharraf, promising to consider suggestions on facilitating Sikh pilgrims' visit to gurdwaras “was in the direction of facilitating unrestrained visit to Sikh shrines by devotees.”

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