Posted by: Singh Is King | Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sikh pilgrims meet Sharif

Nawaz Sharif Lahore: Deposed Pakistan Premier Nawaz Sharif had some unexpected visitors at his home here – Indian Sikh pilgrims from his ancestral village near Amritsar.

The Sikhs from Jati Umra village, who are in Pakistan to participate in celebrations marking the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, made a beeline for Sharif’s home in the Model Town area on Monday to meet him.

Some of them told the PML-N chief, who returned to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia on Sunday, that their joy had doubled after learning that he was back home safely from exile.

Sharif’s father Mian Sharif Mohammad had migrated to Pakistan at the time of partition in 1947 from Jati Umra, a village near Amritsar. Sharif’s residence in Raiwind near Lahore is named after the village.Monday was the last day for filing nominations for Pakistan’s January 8 general election but Sharif took time out to meet the Sikh pilgrims at his Model Town home.

Massa Singh, a 70-year-old Sikh from Jati Umra, said his family was overjoyed on hearing of the former Prime Minister’s homecoming.

He said the residents of Jati Umra had always prayed for Sharif’s return as living in exile is not a happy experience. “We know he was innocent and he was kept in forced exile,” Singh told ‘The News’.

Kundan Singh, another Sikh pilgrim, said his family had been praying for Sharif’s safe return. His family had distributed sweets after learning that Sharif was coming back home, he said.

“The birthday of Baba Guru Nanak and the return of Nawaz Sharif have doubled our joys,” Kundan Singh said.

Gayan Singh, also a resident of Jati Umra, said his family had organised an ‘akhand paat’ or reading of the Sikh scriptures while praying for Sharif’s return.

Residents of Jati Umra have maintained close ties with Sharif over the years and some of them who are close to the former Premier’s family have stayed at his home in Lahore during visits to Pakistan.


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