Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, while addressing the Sikh yatrees, has said poverty, ignorance and unemployment are our common enemies inviting us to wage a war jointly against these, and as neighbours, we will foil the designs of anti-prosperity elements.
“Today we are facing shortage of water in both Punjabs, that is, Indian as well as Pakistan’s, and if we want to see our homeland prosperous and green, we will have to march forward jointly to resolve this issue. If shortage of water is created, it will be an enmity with hundreds of million of people, which can be very dangerous for this region,” he observed, while quoting Baba Guru Nanak, who had termed the homeland as ‘mother’ and water as ‘father’. “The home is incomplete without mother and father,” opined the CM.
He was addressing an international seminar on the subject of “Pani Bina Punjab Kithay” (Whither Punjab sans water) on the occasion of 542nd birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Jee held under the aegis of the Dayal Singh Research and Cultural Forum at a local hotel here on Thursday. Chairman Evacuee Property Trust Board Syed Asif Hashmi, Director DSR&CF Ihsan H. Nadiem, Dr. Preetpal Singh, Dr Jasbir Kaur, Sardar Manmohan Singh Khalsa and Pradhan of Perbandhak Committee on Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Sardar Sham Singh also addressed the seminar.
Earlier, Sikh representatives called for joining hands against the Brahmans for securing water for both Punjabs, and were of the considered opinion that Sikhism had close connection with ever-flowing rivers.
Addressing the seminar, Shahbaz Sharif said provision of facilities to Sikh yatrees was the responsibility of both provincial and federal governments, and assured them every year better facilities would be provided. He also announced the installation of road lights from Manawalla to Nankana Sahib next year before the arrival of Sikh yatrees. He mentioned that he wanted that when the Sikhs would go back, they should take alongwith them good sentiments about Pakistani and Punjabi brothers. He said like previous year, he had also got an opportunity to meet Sikh yatrees this year as well, which was a matter of pleasure for him.
The CM said that Baba Guru Nanak Jee was respectable for both Sikhs and Muslims as he preached religious tolerance, which was direly needed at present. He said the ideology of Baba Guru Nanak Jee was based on high moral values, spiritualism, love for humanity, creation of peaceful society, brotherhood and tolerance as the Guru was against hatred and enmities, and for this, the Guru travelled for spreading the message of peace, while taking along him a Muslim Babey Mardaney.
The CM concluded his speech with slogans of Pakistan Zindabad (Long Live Pakistan) and Muslim-Sikh Dosti Zindabad. He also talked about his ancestral village Jaati Umra in India, and his family house there.
Dr. Preetpal Singh pointed out problems being faced by the Punjabis of India because of inequitable water distribution by ‘Brahmans sitting in Delhi’. He was of the view that problem of water-shortage was deteriorating with every passing day because of ever-dipping water-table and lack of rain water.
Manmohan Singh was of the considered opinion that the Brahmans had looted water-share of the Punjab, and they were taking decisions while sitting in New Delhi sans any realisation of problems faced by the Indian Punjabis. “If there is extra water in flood season, they (Brahmans) open gates to destroy Pakistan’s Punjab,” he averred, while adding that the Sikhs were hoodwinked by Hindus at the time of partition. “Let us sit together, join hands, and through Sikh-Muslim unity launch joint fight against Brahmans,” he demanded, while pointing out Indian atrocities against Muslims of India where the Muslim women were raped during Gujrat carnage.
Sardar Manmohan Singh observed that Punjabis, living on both sides of the divide, were living like orphans because of shortage of water. “The Indians have occupied Kashmir, and now they are tunnelling water to Rajasthan without giving even a drop to Indian Punjabis,” he said, adding that the Indian radio was airing venomous propaganda and poisoning minds of Sindhis that the Pakistani Punjab was stealing their share of water, which was not the case. He asked the Pakistani govt for taking steps to thwart the campaign.
Indian educationist Dr Jasbir Kaur underlined the need for water for agriculturalists of India and Pakistan.