The Union Government has rejected visa to descendants of the Rai Bhular Bhatti family of Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, who had donated 18,500 acres to Guru Nanak.
The 19th generation son of the family, Rai Saleem Bhatti, was invited for the 550th Parkash Purb celebrations of the first Sikh Guru. Mr. Bhatti said he was invited by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Guru Nanak Dev University and an organisation of lawyers of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. 'We have received a communication today that our visa application has been rejected. My father and son were accompanying me for the first-ever trip to Punjab,' he said.
Mr. Bhattti said though the functions to which he was invited had already been held, he was still hoping he would be able to visit Punjab and pay obeisance at Sultanpur Lodhi and Golden Temple, but his hopes had been dashed.
The family stands as a symbol of inter-faith unity as Rai Bular Bhatti, a contemporary of Guru Nanak, was among the first to recognise his spiritual powers.
TheCongress minister,Mr. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, expressed disappointment at the denial of visa. 'First, the government denied permission to a Punjab delegation of ministers to visit Pakistan and now, the man whose family had donated such a large tract of land to Guru Nanak, has been denied visa,' he said.
Mr. Bhatti said he had cancelled his visit to the United States for speaking at an inter-faith harmony lecture organised by the American senate for his trip to India but in vain.