PM orders acquisition of land for Baba Guru Nanak University

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PM orders acquisition of land for Baba Guru Nanak University ISLAMABAD, November 15, 2008

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani issued instructions on Friday for acquisition of land for Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib.

In a meeting with a delegation of Sikh pilgrims representing various Sikh organisations based in Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, India, and the Indian Held Kashmir, the prime minister said the government would protect the rights of minorities.

He also directed for the issuance of a notification for Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and building a road strip heading towards Gurdwara Kartar Sahib on the Pakistan-India border in Narowal district.

Gilani said all efforts were being made by the government to make the Sikh pilgrims feel at home during their visit to religious shrines in Pakistan. The welfare and protection of the rights of minorities is part of the manifesto of the PPP and the government is determined to implement it, he added.

The prime minister told the delegation that the demands of the Sikh pilgrims, like commencement of direct PIA flights between Birmingham and Lahore, and the issuance of double entry visa to the Yatrees by Pakistan’s diplomatic missions abroad, had already been implemented.

He said the government was paying special attention to preserving religious and cultural heritage of Sikhs. The prime minister said special allocations were being made for the renovation and maintenance of their sacred places in Pakistan.

He said his government was encouraging the visits of religious pilgrims and a number of steps had been taken to facilitate their visit and stay. On the delegation’s request, the prime minister said the proposal of opening Pakistan visa section in Amritsar to facilitate Sikh pilgrims’ visit to Pakistan would be examined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib

Dawn report - PM orders acquisition of land for Guru Nanak varsity Islamabad, November 14, 2008

Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani on Friday issued instructions for the acquisition of land for the Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib.

Talking to a delegation of Sikh pilgrims representing various organisations based in Pakistan, US, UK, India, and held Kashmir, the prime minister said the government was committed to protect the rights of minorities.

He also directed for the issuance of notification for building a road strip in Narowal district towards Gurdwara Kartar Sahib on Pakistan-India border.

Prime Minister Gilani said the government was taking efforts to make Sikh pilgrims feel at home during their visit to religious shrines in the country.

The welfare and protection of the rights of minorities is part of PPP’s manifesto and the government is determined to implement it, he added.

The prime minister told the delegation that Sikh pilgrims’ demands such as commencement of direct PIA flights between Birmingham and Lahore, and the issuance of double entry visa to Yatrees by Pakistan’s diplomatic missions abroad had already been implemented.

He said the government was paying special attention to preserving religious and cultural heritage of Sikhs. The prime minister said special allocations were being made for the renovation and maintenance of their sacred places.

On the delegation’s request, the prime minister said proposal of opening a Pakistan visa section in Amritsar to facilitate Sikh pilgrims' visit to Pakistan would be examined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The delegation thanked the prime minister for warm hospitality and proper arrangements made by the government.

They said the Sikh community attached high importance to their ties with the Pakistani people and that these relations are not dependant on the nature and status of Pakistan-India relations.

Earlier the delegation also met Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti.

The minsiter said the government was committed to protecting the rights of the religious minorities, said a press release.

The minister informed the delegates that Pakistan was a modern, enlightened and democratic state and the government was working in accordance with Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of interfaith harmony and brotherhood among various communities.

He also highlighted Pakistan's importance for Sikh community and took pride in the relations between the people of Pakistan and the global Sikh community.

Sardar Gurmeet Singh Aulakh from Sikh Council, USA, thanked the Pakistan government and appreciated the services provided to the Sikh Yatrees. He said the teachings of Baba Guru Nanak were a common heritage of all religions.

Sardar Manmohan Singh, a leader of World Muslim-Sikh Federation of UK, emphasised the need for Sikh-Muslim unity in the region. He said India-Pakistan relations had no effects on the ties between the Sikh community and the people of Pakistan.

Sardar Swarn Singh also appreciated the facilities provided by the government of Pakistan on the Wagah border and inside the gurdwaras.

Pilgrims arrive at Hassanabdal

TAXILA: Around 3,000 Sikh pilgrims from India arrived at Hassanabdal on Friday to commemorate the 540th birth anniversary of their spiritual leader and founder of Sikh religion Baba Guru Nanak Dev Jee at Gurdwara Punja Sahib, our Correspondent from Taxila reports.

The pilgrims were received by officials of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), and some members of Pakistani Sikh community and others at Hassanabdal.

After the dissolution of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandak Committee, the ETPB has been making arrangements for all Sikh festivals for the last 11 months. The government is yet to establish new ETPB.

Talking to newsmen here ETPB Deputy Administrator (Shrines) Faraz Abbas said that government had made elaborate arrangements to ensure provision of maximum facilities to the Sikh pilgrims so that they could perform their religious rituals in an amicable manner.


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