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Dr Singh meets Sikhs in Teheran, wife visits gurdwara

Last updated on: August 29, 2012 18:52 IST
Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Wednesday met a Sikh delegation in Teheran on the sidelines of his visit to Iran to attend the 16th Non-Aligned Movement summit.
 
Dr Singh arrived in Tehran on Tuesday to attend the summit.
 
Dr Singh's wife, Gursharan Kaur, who has accompanied him, visited the Bhai Ganga Singh Sabha gurdwara, a Sikh shrine and an Indian school on Wednesday.
 
This is a small island in Teheran where the lively Punjabi culture is celebrated against all odds.
 
Children who are born and brought up in Teheran, some with mixed parentage, speak English, Hindi, Persian, French and Punjabi.
 
Elated at Dr Singh's visit, a member of the delegation, Gurdeep Singh, extended his gratitude for the monetary assistance provided by Manmohan Singh to the Sikh community.
 
"Manmohan Singh helped us a lot. We met him for the first time and he granted aid for our school and our shrine. He announced a sum of Rs 20 million and there is another shrine for which, he has announced Rs 2 million. He has lived up to our expectations and we know that we shall receive help from him in the future," he said.
 
Another Sikh of Indian origin residing in Teheran, Manpreet Singh, said the prime minister enquired if they faced any problem in Iran.
 
"We spoke about the good relations shared between India and Iran and the age-old civilisation of the two nations. We were asked to talk about our problems, but we do not face any problem over here," he said.
 
During his visit, from which he will return on Friday, Dr Singh and his delegation are expected to discuss the role of NAM in global governance, reforms in international institutions like the United Nations, as well as reforms in global financial institutions.
 
Manmohan Singh walks a tightrope at the NAM Summit in Iran this week. Not only is the summit being hosted by a country facing the wrath of the West, it also faces a tough challenge in the form of the Syrian crisis and its implications for the Middle East.
 
The NAM, at its 16th summit, is also expected to draw up a new peace resolution for the Syrian crisis. Also prominent among the issues to be discussed is nuclear disarmament.


Image: Gursharan Kaur, wife of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, visits the Bhai Ganga Singh Sabha gurdwara in Teheran, Iran
Smita Prakash in Teheran
Source: ANI