Punjab's deputy chief minster Sukhbir Singh Badal today sought an early decision on opening a corridor from India to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.
Badal also sought a positive decision on handing over the management control of gurdwaras in Pakistan to the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (SGPC), the apex body managing Sikh shrines in India.
Badal made these requests when he called on Pakistan Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif today at Lahore, an official release said here.
He said the sentiments of the Sikh community were attached to gurdwaras in Pakistan and Sharif should request Pakistan's federal government to give free access to them to pay obeisance there.
Raising the issue of a corridor to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, Badal said this historic gurdwara of Guru Nanak. the founder of Sikhism, was located on the Pakistani side, just 2km away from border in the Dera Baba Nanak sector.
He said the SGPC and the Punjab government had been requesting the Union government and Pakistan to create a pilgrim corridor up to the gurdwara so that Indian pilgrims could have uninterrupted access to the shrine.
Badal said Pakistan's government should honour the sentiments of the Sikh masses and provide such a corridor in coordination with India.
Taking up the issue of management and control of gurdwaras in Pakistan, Badal said the SGPC was managing professionally the gurdwaras in Punjab and elsewhere in India and it was imperative that it be given management control of all gurdwaras in Pakistan so that it could provide good facilities to pilgrims.
Expressing concern over visa hindrances being faced by Sikh pilgrims, Badal said Shahbaz Sharif should request the federal government to ensure an easier visa regime for pilgrims.
He also sought the opening of visa offices in Amritsar and Lahore for the convenience of pilgrims, traders and industrialists.