NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013

NEW - Vedic/Hindu Calendar for 2013
Shri Ramapir Mandir/Temple in Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Thursday, April 29, 2010

‘Disgraced’ ETPB chief throws Besakhi festival seminar for Sikhs into disarray , Pakistan

Wednesday,April 28,2010
LAHORE: An international seminar – organised as part of Besakhi festival celebrations – was thrown into disarray on Monday when the chief guest, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Asif Hashmi, left the stage feeling he had been “disgraced” amid hundreds of Sikhs from Pakistan, India and several other countries.

The Dyal Singh Research and Cultural Forum had organised the seminar titled ‘Besakhi Pani Nal’. The chief guest suddenly left the stage with Pakistani and foreign speakers delivering speeches, saying, “This is a to degrade me ... the stage administration has not [yet] invited me for a speech.” Before leaving the stage, he also announced the immediate suspension of Dyal Singh Research and Cultural Forum Director Dr Zafar Cheema, who was working as stage secretary during the seminar.

Later, the ETPB chairman told the media outside the hall where the seminar had been organised, “Zafar Cheema was deliberately trying to delay my speech. The stage administration was trying to disgrace me ... they did not invite me for a speech. A group from the ETPB and the ministry is already working against me ... I’ll resign in the coming week.” Dr Zafar Cheema told Daily Times, “I am shocked at how the ETPB chairman suddenly suspended me.” He said the chairman might be in “some sort of problem”, as he had been unable to assess the situation. “His actions will deal a blow to the image of Pakistan ... because the ETPB chairman was representing Pakistan in front of Sikhs from several countries, including India.”

During the seminar, leader of Indian Sikhs Sardar Swinder Singh highlighted the importance of water, and thanked the Pakistani government for looking after his community’s shrines well. Ragbeer Singh from Germany said water theft was a crime, and “it is a stigma on the face of India”. He said water disputes between India and Pakistan must be resolved peacefully. staff report

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