Chandigarh, August 11 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today expressed satisfaction with the massive response given by Punjabis abroad to the senior leadership of the party which visited the United States and Canada last month.
The review meeting, which was chaired by Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and was attended by the senior leadership including ministers who toured both the U.S. and Canada, also resolved to take up all pending issues of Punjabis abroad with the Union government shortly. Accordingly it was decided that Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal will get in touch with both the Union Home and External Affairs ministers.
Briefing the Deputy CM about the visit, ministers Tota Singh, Sikander Singh Malooka and Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said NRIs abroad had asked the visiting team that all those who had filed for asylum in these countries were not able to visit India. The leaders said there was a demand from this section that they should be treated as economic asylum seekers and not political asylum cases.
The leaders including CM’s advisor Maheshinder Singh Grewal and CPS Pargat Singh also talked about the problems being faced by the NRI community in securing nativity certificates.
Other team members including Manpreet Ayali and Rinku Atwal spoke about the massive response received by the team members from the NRI community, especially the youth. They said besides small meetings the team members had also organised large meetings in banquet halls which had received an enthusiastic response. They also shared the newspaper cuttings of various events with the Deputy CM. Both Ayali and Atwal also disclosed that at two places 15 to 20 anti-national persons had tried to disrupt the meetings and also the fact that the actions of these persons had been decried by a majority section of the Punjabi community in both US and Canada.
After hearing the briefing during which Revenue Minister Bikram Majithia was also present, the Deputy CM said the SAD BJP government would do its best to ensure all problems being faced by NRIs were resolved at the earliest. He said he would also get in touch with the Union government in this regard. Mr Badal also announced that as far as the Punjab government was concerned, it had taken several steps to resolve NRI problems. He said this included giving all NRIs who had been declared proclaimed offenders due to disputes a fair hearing. “We have reduced this figure considerably and will also work assiduously to ensure all NRIs who have gone abroad due to economic reasons are able to visit their country again”, he added.