Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday laid the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University at Nankana Sahib in Punjab Province.
The initiative has been taken in connection with the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of the founder of Sikh religion Baba Guru Nanak who was born in Nankana Sahib, a small town in Punjab where Sikhs from around the world go for pilgrimage.
This comes a week after officials from Pakistan and India signed an agreement for opening the Kartarpur Corridor on October 24. The agreement will facilitate the visa-free travel of 5,000 pilgrims daily in groups or individually, on foot or by bus to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. The temple, located some 4km from the border with India, is believed to have been built on the site where Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, died in the 16th Century. Prime Minister Imran Khan will formally inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9.
Meanwhile, speaking at the stone laying ceremony of the university in Nankana Sahib, Imran Khan hit out at the opposition political parties again and said that he would not be blackmailed by any Azadi(freedom)March against him.
Hundreds of thousands of people mainly religious hardliners led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Chief of Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) started the Azadi March from Karachi on October 27. They are scheduled to enter Islamabad on October 31 in a bid to dethrone Imran Khan.
Tribute to Baba Guru Nanak
Imran Khan said that laying foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University at Nankana Sahib is apt tribute on occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
“Kartarpur is the Madina of the Sikh community and Nankana Sahib is their Makkah,” said Prime Minister Imran. Setting up the university, Imran says, is part of his plans to give top priority to promote education sector.
Imran said that members of Sikh community will also be able to get education at this university.
The university will work to promote religious tourism in the country, besides serving as a community center for the Sikhs, based in Pakistan and abroad.
Imran added that no matter how bad relations Pakistan has with India, the Sikhs would never be stopped from visiting their holy sites in Pakistan.
While talking about former premier Nawaz Sharif’s health, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that his arch–rival had lauded the medical services being provided to him. Baba Guru Nanak University will be built on 10 acres of land with a cost of Rs6 billion.
The university is an important step towards completion of Prime Minister’s promises and would help hundreds of thousand students of Nankana Sahib district in Punjab. The university would also offer research and academic activities, on the life of Baba Guru Nanak.
The project was originally launched by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) during the previous government of Nawaz Sharif.
According to the news story, the university would also be helpful in promoting religious tourism in Pakistan and will be a source of pride for the Sikhs living across the word