Visit of Punjab Minister Sidhu to Pakistan and the controversy that has risen, a statement of Simranjit Singh Mann , President Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), dated 22nd August 2018.
It is unfortunate that an unnecessary controversy has broken out on a matter that should have brought hope for peace between the Islamic and Hindu states. The enmity between Hindu’s and Muslim’s is more than a thousand years old. The Muslim invader Mohammad bin Quasim invaded Sind and Multan, defeating the Hindu king Dhir in 712 AD. Since then these two major religious denominations of the Indian sub-continent have remained daggers drawn with one another. Therefore our party has never considered that India and Pakistan are at each other’s throats, but it is a historic enmity and rivalry between these two mortal enemies-Hindu’s and Muslim’s.
The Sikh religion and nation was founded by Guru Nanak Sahib in the fifteenth century with the words that the Sikh’s are neither Hindu’s nor Muslim’s.
In the controversy that has ensued on the visit of a Sikh minister S Navjot Singh Sidhu to Pakistan on the occasion of the swearing in ceremony of the Pakistan Premier Imran Khan, is a result of this age old enmity of these two age old foes. As Sikh’s we have no cause to hold either the Hindu or the Muslim as a foe. But since 1947 the Sikh’s a sui generis sovereign peoples have been subjected to Hindu rule, the Hindu’s feel insulted that a subdued and subject people should attend the ceremony of a Muslim Premier.
The differences are so great that the prospective Premier of Pakistan had invited all his cricketer friends from India to the ceremony. These besides S Sidhu included Mr. Sachin Tendulkar, Mr. Kapil Dev and others. Now the fact is that S Sidhu is a Sikh and the other two are Hindu’s. The latter two saw and read the Hindu national mind and refused the invitation of Mr. Imran Khan. It has now boiled down to the fact that how did a subjugated Sikh dare the Hindu whip of accepting a Muslim’s invitation.
S Sidhu did nothing wrong in going to Pakistan as the Pakistani’s and the Sikh’s are racially the same and the Sikh’s have deep affection and respect for the Sikh divine areas left behind in Pakistan, which as per their separate religion and nationality they wish to have open borders with Pakistan. While in Pakistan S Sidhu brought up the case of a passage from Dera Baba Nanak to Kartarpur Sahib, the last resting place of Guru Nanak Sahib. The authorities in Pakistan said they had no opposition to this proposal. If Christian’s, Muslim’s and Jews can freely visit Jerusalem then there should be no objection to Sikh’s visiting Nankana Sahib, Panja Sahib, Dera Sahib, Karatapur Sahib and other of their shrines in Pakistan. The Sikh’s also desire that the border posts at Wagah and Hussainiwala should opened for trade, pilgrimage, tourism etc to Pakistan and we should join the Pakistan-China economic corridor for trade and commerce.
We feel that there is nothing wrong in what the Sikh peoples think. Giving a hug to General Qamar Javed Bajwa is a normal sub-continental way of greetings. Didn’t Premier Modi hug President Xi Jinping of China while on a swing with him in Gujarat, at the very time that China’s PLA had walked into Ladakh and was camping and sitting tight all the time President Xi was with Premier Modi in India? So why all this brouhaha if a Sikh minister S Sidhu hugs a Muslim General Bajwa. There are Bajwa’s in India and Sidhu’s in Pakistan. Former Premier Manmohan Singh is a Kohli and an equal number of Kohli’s would be found in Pakistan. There are Mann’s in the Punjab, UP, Haryana and Rajasthan as there are an equal number of Mann’s in Pakistan.
The fact is that in the Indian Hindu state where the Hindu’s are in total majority, they do not trust the Sikhs, never mind all that we have done for them in history. The glaring example is that This (Theocratic Hindu Indian State) has never since 1947 posted a Sikh as High Commissioner to Pakistan or a Sikh diplomat to the Islamic state.
Our party thinks it’s about time that the Hindu pipes down and stops screaming and issuing death threats to S Sidhu as this will only deepen the chasm between the Sikhs and Hindus, as we Sikhs are determined to hold our own and act as a sui generis sovereign people.
Simranjit Singh Mann