Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday laid foundation stone for a university named after Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion, ahead of his 550th birth anniversary to be held in Pakistan next month.
The university will be set up in Nankana Sahib district of northeastern Punjab province — the birth place of Baba Guru Nanak — located some 75 kilometers (46 miles) of provincial capital Lahore.
The development came day after Pakistan and India signed an agreement for opening of a key border crossing for Sikh pilgrims to attend the birth anniversary of their founder despite heightened tensions between the two nuclear rivals over Kashmir.
“Setting up of an educational institution is the best way to pay homage to Baba Guru Nanak because education is the key to nations’ success,” Khan said while addressing the ceremony.
In November last year, Islamabad and New Delhi had agreed to open Kartarpur crossing that connects Pakistan’s northeastern Narowal city to India’s eastern Gurdaspur district.
Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara situated in Narowal — some 115 km (71 mi) from the provincial capital Lahore — is one of the most revered temple for the Sikh community as Baba Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life there.
The distance between the temple and Gurdaspur is merely 3 km (2 mi) but the closure of this crossing takes Sikh pilgrims from India to travel hundreds of kilometers, via Amritsar and Lahore, to reach here.
Pakistan’s northeastern Punjab province is home to some of the most important pilgrimage sites for Sikhs. They include the birthplace of Baba Guru Nanak, who was born in 1469 in Nankana Sahib district, and Gurdwara (monastery) Punja Sahib in Hasan Abdal town, where the handprint of Guru Nanak is believed to be imprinted on a boulder.
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