LAHORE - President Dr Arif Alvi Monday said durable peace in the region was an objective of Pakistan and the opening of Kartarpur Corridor is a step for for the cause.

Addressing the Sikhs at the Governor’s House, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan was committed to have peaceful relations with the neighbours and that was why he sent a message of peace and love across the border .soon after taking oath of his office.

Alvi was the chief guest at an event arranged by Governor Ch Sarwar in honour of Sikhs who landed here to attend the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. Over 2000 Sikhs from India and other parts of the world reached Pakistan.

Alvi said Sikhism was a religion of peace. The opening of Kartarpur Corridor was a major initiative for regional peace. The Sikhs, who were a hardworking community, were faithful brothers for Pakistanis, he added. Pakistan, he said, was a citadel of peace and would continue its efforts for world peace. The president said he had visited India to see the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest pilgrimage site for the Sikhs, which was built in 1589.

His wife Samina Arif Alvi also attended the ceremony. Alvi also gave away shields to yatrees. He also distributed shields to the local administration of Nanakana Sahib for renovating the city in connection with the birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

Later, Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar presented a memento to President Alvi. The Sikh delegates also presented gifts to the president and Punjab governor. Governor Sarwar congratulated the Sikhs and said all facilities including foolproof security and accommodation would be provided to the Sikh yatrees.

He said that Pakistan was a safe country for minorities. “We are working for restoration of religious places of all minorities including Christians and Hindus. The governor said Pakistan always stood by minorities but on the other side, life has become difficult for the minorities in India as Indian Supreme court decision in Babari Masjid case was a result of RSS and Indian leaders’ pressure on its judiciary.

He said that India was committing genocide of innocent Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir as 99 days have been passed since imposition of curfew in occupied valley, due which even basic facilities were not available to Kashmiris, adding that the time has come to take notice of Indian atrocities and to get freedom for Kashmiris besides ensuring protection of minorities in India.

”We will promote liberalism in Pakistan and would eradicate extremism, the way we eliminated the terrorism from country”.  Wife of Governor Perveen Sarwar, ministers, senior officials PTI leaders lawmakers and local noteables also attended the event.