Akali Dal thanks Centre for slashing 'blacklist'

Akali Dal thanks Centre for slashing 'blacklist'

The SAD president said the 'blacklist' was a creation of the Congress party. AFP File Photo

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on September 13 thanked the Union government for slashing the Centre's 'blacklist' that restricted Sikh foreign nationals from visiting India for their alleged anti-national precedents.

The government has removed from its blacklist names of 312 foreigner Sikhs allegedly involved in anti-India activities with only two persons now figuring in it, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Friday.

The decision was taken after a review by different security agencies on the Central Adverse List or blacklist, he added.

A blacklist on Sikh foreign nationals maintained by various Indian missions abroad has also been discontinued by the government.

Welcoming the Centre's decision, Badal said, "The list was created by Congress regimes which imposed restrictions on Sikhs' visits to India. It was the culmination of the efforts of former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the SAD which had been consistently following up this issue with the NDA government."

The SAD president said the 'blacklist' was a creation of the Congress party and the Punjab Congress leaders had no guts even to approach their government to get it withdrawn during the ten-year rule of the UPA government at the Centre from 2004 to 2014.

“In direct contrast, Badal and the SAD has been consistently demanding that the list as well as other local blacklists prepared by Indian missions abroad be done away with," he said.

“Today we are thankful to Prime Minister and the NDA government for meeting the demand of the Sikh community and deleting 312 names from the official blacklist maintained by the Foreigners Division of the Home ministry. 

This is an act of statesmanship and will go a long way in assuaging the hurt Sikh feelings and ending the feeling of alienation in the Sikh community”, he said.

The SAD president said the decision would do away with the practice of arbitrary denial of visas to Sikhs to visit their near and dear ones in Punjab.

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