Prime Minister Imran Khan assured the Sikh community that his government will make every effort to promote pilgrims visiting Kartarpur and Nankana Sahib, as well as other holy Sikh sites in various Pakistani cities.
“This is not a favour, this was our duty,”Imran Khan said
The first International Sikh Convention, organized by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar at the Lahore Governor House, was addressed by the Premier. Sikh representatives from the United States, United Kingdom and Europe attended the convention, which started on Saturday.
Prime Minister Imran said he realized that Kartarpur and Nankana Sahib were as holy to Sikhs as Makkah and Madina were to Muslims and pledged to create it as simple as possible for Sikh pilgrims.
He also discussed the current conflicts between India and Pakistan, while reiterating that Pakistan will not initiate military intervention. However, he added that he would proceed to raise his voice for the Indian-occupied Kashmiri people who have been under a restrictive lockdown for the past 27 days.
The prime minister expressed his concerns over the situation in occupied Kashmir, saying: “No one who has any humanity left (in them) can tolerate the current situation in Kashmir. We can never accept that you place eight million people under lockdown for 27 days and cut off all communication. I would have raised my voice even if they [Kashmiris] were [non Muslims].”
Prime Minister Imran further said that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — believed to be the parent organisation of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — was following a “totalitarian and racist ideology” that was not in accordance with the teachings of any religion.
“The direction in which RSS is taking India has no place for any [minority]. What is happening with Muslims right now in India […] it will not stop here. If they are not stopped, they will come after the Dalits; they will one day come after the Sikhs.”
The premier recalled for the attendees of the convention that his overtures for peace had been dismissed by the Indian government, and the latter had continued to put forward conditions before it would engage.
“[They acted] like a superpower does when telling a poor country to do this, do that. I was very surprised,” he said.
He denounced the idea of war, saying: “I do not believe that war can solve any problem. Whoever thinks that is not sensible, he has not read world history. If you solve one problem by waging war, four more spring up because of it.
“Everyone who has tried to solve problems by waging war has lost, even in victory. It takes years for a country to recover from the losses.”