SRI ANANDPUR SAHIB: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today accorded a rousing welcome to visiting Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen who paid obeisance here at Takt Sri Keshgarh Sahib and visited the prestigious Virasat-e-Khalsa (Khalsa Heritage Centre).
Disclosing this here today a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that the visiting Canadian Prime Minister led a high powered 32-member delegation including two Ministers Tim Uppal and Baljit Singh Gosal besides eminent personalities from different walks of life especially the Punjabi diaspora settled in Canada.
The Chief Minister accompanied Harper and his wife both at Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib and the Virasat-e-Khalsa complex. During his visit Harper evinced keen interest at the Virasat-e-Khalsa and lauded the efforts of the state government for this unique memorial showcasing the Sikh history spanning over five hundred years in a captivating manner.
On the occasion at the memorial site, the Chief Minister honored Harper with a painting of Sri Harmandir Sahib, a shawl and a sword.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Prime Minister and his wife were presented Robe of honor (siropa) and shawl at the sanctum sanctorum by Jathedar Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib Giani Tarlochan Singh, in the presence of Chief Minister. On the occasion, Secretary Shiromani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) Dalmegh Singh also presented a set of Sikh Encyclopedia, a sword, a siropa and a shawl to the Canadian PM and his wife. Harper described his visit to Takht Sri Keshgarh Sahib as a ‘wonderful experience’ after his previous visit to Sri Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar.
Later interacting with the media persons in amphitheatre at Virasat-e-Khalsa complex, the Canadian Prime Minister said that his current visit to India would help in meeting the challenges before both the countries in the near future.
Prominent amongst the other present on these occasions included Food and Supply Minister Adesh Partap Singh Kairon, Health and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Chaudhary Nand Lal, Principal Secretary Cultural Affairs SS Channy, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister SK Sandhu, Director Cultural Affairs Karamjeet Singh Sra, Director General of Police Sumedh Saini, Additional Director General of Police Hardeep Singh Dhillon, Commissioner Ropar Division Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Inspector General of Police RK Jaiswal besides Deputy Commissioner PK Aggarwal and Senior Superintendent of Police Ropar Inder Mohan Singh .