Girls from Sikh community attend a religious festival in Hasan Abdal near Islamabad in Pakistan, Friday, April 14, 2017. Sikh pilgrims arrived from neighboring India and other countries to attend the religious festival 'Besakhi' at a shrine of Gurdwara Punja Sahib, the second most sacred place for Sikhs. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)
’15 to 50-year-old women, clean-shaven men can not visit Pak Sikh shrines without family’
Amritsar: Following the recent two incidents of Kiran Bala and Amarjit Singh –who “mis-used” their visa to Pakistan as members of Sikh pilgrims’ jatha to Pakistan last month– now the committee that recommends the names of pilgrims for the Pakistani visa has made strict rules for its recommendations.
Bhai Madana Yadgaar Society has decided that from now onwards, no women in the age group of 15 to 50 years would be allowed to go to Pakistan alone with the jatha (group) of Sikh pilgrims for pilgrimage to Pakistan to visit holy Sikh shines in the neighbouring country. The Society has decided that the women, in the age group of 15 to 50 year age group, would be allowed only if they are accompanied by their family members.
The Society has also decided that from now onwards only Keshdhari Sikhs (chaste Sikhs) will be allowed to go with the pilgrims’ jatha to Pakistan. The clean shaven persons and youths will also not be allowed to go alone with the jatha. They also must be accompanied by their family members if they want to go to Pakistan, the Society has decided.
Harpal Singh Bullar, president of Bhai Mardana Yadgaar Society, while speaking to News 18 TV channel said that the decisions have been taken in view of the two incidents of Kiran Bala and Amarjit Singh.
Notably, one Kiran Bala, who was among the Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan last month, had gone missing and then resurfaced after converting to Islam and after marrying a Pakistani national. This matter was widely reported by the media of both the countries and a majority of people had criticised Kiran Bala for mis-using her visa to Pakistan for her amorous escapade.
Hoshiarpur woman Kiran Bala who too had gone to Pakistan married a man in Lahore and refused to come to India. The Sikh delegation came back with two members less — one was Kiran bala and the other Amarjit Singh.
Similarly, a 25-year-old youth Amarjit Singh had initially gone missing and later traced. Amarjit Singh had gone to meet his friend without caring to informing the delegation with which he had gone to Pakistan as part of the pilgrimage.
Amarjit was later traced to Shekhupura in Pakistan. It has now come to light that he slipped out without telling anyone that he was going to meet his friend. He even misled his friend whom he wanted to meet. But when his Pakistani friend came to know through TV reports that a man who was part of the Sikh delegation was missing, he immediately informed the authorities that Amarjit was staying with him.
Amarjit is a resident of a village Nirajanpura, Verka in outer Amritsar. He had gone with the Sikh Jatha and was part of the 1794 member Sikh delegation which visited Pakistan on the occasion of Baisakhi. When the delegation returned, Amarjit wasn’t part of the delegation.
Later, Kiran Bala was granted six months visa to live in Pakistan. More importantly, Kiran Bala is a mother of three children back home in Garhshankar, Hoshiarpur.