TAXILA: Indian celebrity Rupinder Singh on Wednesday offered religious rituals at Gurdwara Punja Sahib, Hassanabdal.
The 37-year old Indian actor, singer, director and producer is popular on both sides of the border for his role as Gippy Grewal and his work spans the Punjabi and Hindi film industry.
Upon his arrival at the gurdwara, Mr Singh was welcomed by officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC).
The gurdwara is considered to be one of the holiest sites for Sikhs because it is believed that the handprint of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, is imprinted on a rock, hence it is called Punja Sahib.
Mr Singh performed various rituals during his short visit to the temple.
Speaking to the press, Mr Singh expressed how eagerly he had been waiting to visit the land of his Guru.
The love and respect I have received from the people of Pakistan is beyond my expectations and thoughts, he said while answering a question.
“People had many opinions when I told them I was planning to visit Pakistan and I would just like to point out that whoever wants to visit should do so without paying heed to what others are saying so they can witness how well they will be received here,” Mr Singh said.
I have brought love for Pakistan from India and will take back more love in return, he added.
Mr Singh thanked the prime minister for fulfilling his long standing wish to visit the shrines located in Pakistan.
Mr Singh is famous for acting in Punjabi films such as Carry On Jatta, Lucky Di Unlucky Story, Bhaji in Problem and Jatt James Bond. His single ‘Phulkari’ broke many records in the Punjabi music industry.
The actor also mentioned that he was happy he got to visit the town where his forefathers grew up before partition.
Responding to a question, Mr Singh pointed out that the people of Pakistan and India share the same culture, values and traditions and there is need for direct contact between the people of both countries.
Opening the Kartarpur Corridor will further strengthen relations between Pakistan and the Sikh community living all around the world, he added, lauding the government for taking steps to preserve and restore Sikh temples in Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2020