*Imran Khan lays foundation of first Sikh university in Punjab
Prime Minister Imran Khan 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 inked 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, placed 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 will formally inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9. 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. 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 Pakistan, besides serving as a community center for the Sikhs, based in the country 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 the country. Baba Guru Nanak University will be built on 10 acres of land with a cost of Rs 6 billion. It is important to note here, Pakistan’s Labour Force Survey 2017-18, literacy rate trends shows 62.3 percent during FY2018, males and females. Area wise analysis suggests that literacy rate grew in both rural and urban in Pakistan. Furthermore, literacy rate increases in all provinces, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (54.1% to 55.3%), Punjab (61.9% to 64.7%) and Balochistan (54.3% to 55.5%) except in Sindh (63.0% to 62.2%) where marginal decrease has been observed. Despite of all, the Baba Guru Nanak University is a significance step towards completion of Prime Minister’s promises and would assist 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 introduced by HEC in collaboration with Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) during the previous government. According to the source, the university would also be helpful in promoting religious tourism in the country and will be a source of pride for the Sikhs living across the word.