Obama's Golden Temple Visit: Punjab seeks PM's Help

Chandigarh, Oct 23 (IANS) Punjab has sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention in US President Barack Obama's proposed visit to the Golden Temple in Amritsar which ran into trouble over the issue of what headgear he should wear to enter the Sikh shrine.

"Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has written a letter to the prime minister in this regard. We want him to raise this issue and clear all the misunderstandings. We want that no wrong message should be sent in the international community about this," Harcharan Bains, Badal's media advisor, told reporters here Saturday.

He added: "In such high-level international issues, only the central government can intervene and we have no concrete role in them. We all welcome Obama to Amritsar and are still hopeful that this matter will be sorted out and he will certainly come to pay obeisance at Harmandar Sahib."

Obama is scheduled to visit India Nov 5-8.

He was scheduled to visit the Harmandar Sahib, popularly known as Golden Temple and Khalsa College in Amritsar Nov 7 during his first visit to India as the US president. However, his advisors in Washington were apprehensive about him covering his head with a scarf as it could create an impression of a Muslim devotee.

"It is not the first time that any international dignitary is coming to Harmandar Sahib. They have come here without any problem and controversy," said Bains.

"In fact, it would be a matter of pride for Obama also, if he visits the holiest shrine of Sikhs," he pointed out.




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