Even though Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has dubbed Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan as "pro-Khalistani" and has refused to meet him during his India visit, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has decided to honour the visiting dignitary.
"As per traditions, the SGPC will honour Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan when he comes to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple in Amritsar on April 20," Kirpal Singh Badungar, the head of SGPC, said today.
"He (Sajjan) is a high dignitary of a sovereign country and India enjoys good relations with Canada," he added.
It will be a proud moment for all the Sikhs in Punjab and across the globe when the SGPC will honour the Canadian minister at the Golden Temple, said Badungar.
Sajjan, a Sikh himself, has rendered commendable services to the community in Canada and he deserved to be honoured as per SGPC traditions, he added.
The SGPC has been officially informed about Sajjan's visit and the Canadian Defence Minister will be presented with a 'siropa' (robe of honour), shawl, sword, a model of the Golden Temple and religious books in the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple, said Badungar.
Reacting to Amarinder's statement describing Sajjan as "pro-Khalistani", the SGPC chief said, "It's a political view."
SGPC is a religious body and it will stick to its tradition of honouring dignitaries who visit the Golden Temple, he added.
Meanwhile, radical outfit Damdami Taksal has also decided to honour the Canadian minister during his visit.
Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma will be present at the Golden Temple to welcome Sajjan on behalf of the Taksal and Sant Samaj.