Will seek transfer of Kartarpur Sahib from Pakistan through mutual land exchange, says SAD chief Sukhbir Badal

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal
Image Source : FILE PHOTO Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal

The Shiromani Akali Dal on Saturday released its poll manifesto with a major promise that it will seek transfer of Kartarpur Sahib from Pakistan to India through mutual land exchange between the two countries.

Badal also said, “The party also promises to work through the Government of India seeking that the requirement for passports for pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib be dropped and be replaced with a simple permit system.” Notably, the Kartarpur corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district.

SAD promises Chandigarh’s inclusion in the state

While releasing the party manifesto for June 1 elections, SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal spoke about various promises included in what the party called ‘ailan-nama’. He said his party makes a commitment to renew the fight for the inclusion of Chandigarh and other Punjabi speaking areas left out of the state. “Chandigarh was categorically declared to belong to Punjab and was to remain a Union Territory only for five years. We will fight Centre’s betrayal of Punjab on this with renewed force,” he said in a statement.

SAD manifesto on river dispute

Also the manifesto mentions the river dispute saying that it will move to cancel all decisions and settlements on river waters that have been made without Punjab’s concurrence and in violation of the nationally accepted Riparian principle. Badal emphasised that SAD will seek royalty on its river water given to non-Riparian states and will take all political or legal steps necessary for this.

Amid the estranged relation with neighbouring Pakistan, the SAD manifesto demanded opening of Attari and Hussainiwala borders for trade and tourism to usher in economic prosperity. 

Promises SEZ, IT hub and Textile hub

It also promised to secure Special Economic Zones (SEZ) status for the entire border. “We will engage with the Centre to bring small, medium and MSME industrial units in the border districts, ” it said. Additionally, the manifesto emphasised the requirement for industry-focused skill education institutes in this belt.

Besides, Badal said his party would also create three Special Economic Hubs, developing Mohali as an IT hub, Malwa belt as textile hub and Sri Amritsar Sahib as well Hari ke Patan and areas around Pathankot, Ranjit Sagar Dam as major tourism hub of global scale.

Manifesto opposes UCC

Blaming the BJP-led government at the centre, the manifesto said that apart from “discriminating” against the Sikhs, the Centre is “discriminating against and terrorising other minorities, including Muslims, Christian, Bodhis and Jainis. SAD will champion their cause in every sphere”. It also announced to oppose any move at enforcing the Uniform Civil Code.

The manifesto said the party will seek to put an end to the “dangerous interference into Sikh religious affairs by non-Sikh forces who have been using some disgruntled Sikh elements as cosmetic front for their nefarious designs to weaken the ‘Panth’ from within”.

(With PTI Inputs)

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