Chairman of The Virdee Foundation, UK, Peter Virdee, has stated that over 500 million pounds (Rs. 96.5 billion) will be donated to Pakistan by Sikh businessmen to develop religious tourism.
The pledge was made by the Sikh business community whilst meeting the Chairman of the Pakistan Tourism Board and Speical Assistant to the PM Syed Zulfiqar Bukhari, on 10th June at The Rembrandt Hotel in London. Religious tourism projects were discussed between the two sides during the meeting as well as the momentous establishment of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. The meeting was arranged by the Central Gurdwara (Khalsa Jatha) London.
Pakistan government was lauded by the Sikh representatives for taking the first step for opening the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, the actions being taken for the 550th Gurpurab of Guru Nanak Ji. Bukhari, relaxed visa restrictions for religious purposes as well as the possibility of introducing online visas and visa on arrival.
He assured the Sikh community that Pakistani embassies across the world will have dedicated staff on newly set-up tourism desks for a smooth visa process for Sikh yatrees who are hoping to visit Pakistan later this year. He added that high-class free of charge buses would be provided, connecting all the main Gurdwaras in the country.
Amongst the Sikh representatives who met Bukhari included Peter Virdee, Gurpreet Singh Anand, Bhai Amrik Singh, Chair of the Sikh Federation (UK), Preet Kaur Gill MP, Neena Gill MEP, Lord Suri, Sukhjeevan Singh, the Spokesperson for the Sikh Council UK, Dabinderjit Singh, Manvir Singh Bhogal and Justice Anup Singh.