Chandigarh, September 13, 2019 (Yes Punjab News)
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal today expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home minister Amit Shah for dismantling the ‘black list’ created by Congress regimes which imposed restrictions on Sikhs to travel to India and said it was the culmination of the efforts of former chief minister S Parkash Singh Badal and the SAD which had been consistently following up this issue with the NDA government.
In a statement here, the SAD President said the ‘black list’ was a creation of the Congress party and that the Punjab Congress leaders did not even have the guts to approach their government to get it withdrawn during the ten year rule of the UPA government at the centre from 2004 to 2014.
“In direct contrast Sardar Badal and the SAD has been consistently demanding the list as well as other local black lists prepared by Indian Missions abroad be done away with. “Today we are thankful to the PM and the NDA government for meeting the demand of the Sikh community and correcting the misdeeds of the Congress party by deleting all 312 names from the official black list maintained by the Foreigners Division of the Home ministry.
Now only two names, which are not related with persons of Punjab origin, only remain in the black list. This is an act of statesmanship and will go a long way in assuaging hurt Sikh feelings and ending the feeling of alienation in the Sikh community”.
The SAD President said this decision as well as another taken earlier this year in April to do away with black lists maintained by Indian Embassies would end the practice of arbitrary denial of visas to Sikhs to visit their near and dear ones in Punjab.
Stating that the facts spoke for themselves and that Sikhs knew who was championing their cause and who was resorting to empty rhetoric by claiming they had a role in the matter, Mr Badal said he had written a letter to Home minister Mr Rajnath Singh immediately after the NDA came into power in 2014 to do away with the black list.
He said following this Sardar Parkash Singh Badal had also written a letter in 2016 as chief minister to remove the names of several Sikhs settled abroad from the secret black list. “It was after this that PM Narendra Modi ji intervened and the black list was pruned substantially. As many as 212 names were taken out from the black list following this intervention by the PM”, he added.
Mr Badal said the SAD had also led numerous delegations to the centre to demand doing away with the black list and even created a consensus that the black list created by the previous Congress regime was causing difficulty to NRI Sikhs. He said many of the prospective beneficiaries were persons hailing from Punjab who had taken asylum in countries like Canada and the United States.
The SAD President while thanking the PM and HM for this step, said the NDA government was most responsive to the sentiments of the Sikh community. He said it was the NDA government which had created the Kartarpur Corridor to allow Sikh pilgrims to pay obeisance at Sri Kartarpur Sahib. “The NDA government is also responsible for the jailing of Sajjan Kumar and fast trial of Jagdish Tytler in the 1984 genocide cases and even reopening of the case against Madhya Pradesh chief minister Kamal Nath”, he added.