“Partition was mistake”;
says Iqbal Singh Lalpura
after visiting Kartarpur

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NEW DELHI: India’s National Commission for Minorities (NCM) chief Iqbal Singh Lalpura on Monday (January 3) called the partition of 1947 between India and Pakistan, a mistake committed by our elders and said that it is unfortunate that they could not understand the real teaching of Lord Guru Nanak.

National Commission for Minorities (NCM) chief Iqbal Singh Lalpura

Lalpura, while offering prayers inside the sanctum santorum of Gurdwara Sri Darbar Sahib s said, “It was unfortunate that our elders couldn’t understand the teachings of Baba Nanak, and they committed a mistake of partition, the sheet was also torn, similarly, the country was divided.”

However, he expressed gratitude towards Almighty for once again joining all the dividers in his ‘darbar’. He had quoted an example of the dividing of the sheet by the Hindu and Muslim followers of Baba Nanak with which Baba Nanak’s body was covered.

The statements came as Lalpura on Monday visited Pakistan via Kartarpur Corridor to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib along with 30 member delegations including former Member Parliament Kamal Chaudhary, Kuldeep Singh Kahlon, Ajayveer Singh Lalpura.

The commission chief also assured the Pakistan government to take up the issue of increasing the daily number of devotees visiting Gurdwara Sri Dabar Sahib via Kartarpur Corridor and easing the conditions of their visit.

Mohammad Latif, Chairman, Project Management Unit (PMU), a Pakistan government department exclusively erected for the management of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib said “ He was very happy to see the expansion of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib and appreciated the arrangements made by us for the reception of devotees from India”.

Iqbal Singh Lalpura presenting bouquet to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after being appointed as chief of Minorities Commission.

Latif said that the Indian delegates were also impressed by the tidiness of the project area as a whole.  “The chairman (Lalpura) has also assured that he will speak to the government of India for easing up the conditions for Indian devotees and also increase their numbers for daily visits,” said Latif adding that it was a great honour and real pleasure to receive such a high level of the delegation representing minorities of India.

PMU also bestowed siropa’s (robe of honour) to the Indian delegations during their visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.

Profile of Iqbal Singh Lalpura

On September 9, 2021, former IPS officer Iqbal Singh Lalpura was appointed chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, sources said. Lalpura, a BJP spokesperson who hails from Punjab and belongs to the Sikh community, has authored several books on Sikh philosophy and history.

National Commission for Minorities (NCM) chief Iqbal Singh Lalpura at Kartarpur 

He has also won several awards such as the president’s police medal, police medal for meritorious services, Shiromani Sikh Sahitkar Award and Sikh scholar award. The commission’s vice chairperson is Atif Rasheed while five member posts are vacant, according to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) website.

Earlier this year, the Delhi High Court had asked the Centre to explain why as many as six out of seven posts at the NCM are lying vacant since October last year. The last chairperson of the commission was Syed Ghayor-ul-Hasan Rizvi.

The Union government had set up the NCM under the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992. Initially five religious communities — Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) — were notified as minority communities by the Union government. Further through a notification, dated 27 January, 2014, Jains were also notified as another minority community.