Military officers of 45 countries visit Gurdwara Panja Sahib

Updated 08 Feb 2020

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Sikh pilgrims gather at the Gurdwara Panja Sahib, one of Sikhism's most holy places, during the Vaisakhi festival in Hasan Abdal, about 48 kms from Rawalpindi, on April 14, 2015.  Vaisakhi - also known as Baisakhi - celebrates the founding of the Sikh community known as the Khalsa.  AFP PHOTO / Farooq NAEEM
Sikh pilgrims gather at the Gurdwara Panja Sahib, one of Sikhism's most holy places, during the Vaisakhi festival in Hasan Abdal, about 48 kms from Rawalpindi, on April 14, 2015. Vaisakhi - also known as Baisakhi - celebrates the founding of the Sikh community known as the Khalsa. AFP PHOTO / Farooq NAEEM

TAXILA: A National Defence University (NDU) delegation of senior military officers from 45 countries visited Gurdwara Panja Sahib, Hassanabdal, on Friday.

Led by Air Vice Marshal Syed Sabahat Hassan Shah, the delegation comprised military officers from friendly countries and faculty members of NDU, Islamabad.

The foreign military officers visited various parts of the Sikh temple and saw the sacred Sikh religious stone with handprints of Baba Guru Nanak, founder of Sikh religion.

On the occasion, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Deputy Secretary of Shrines Imran Gondal briefed guests about the history and importance of Gurdwara Panja Sahib for the Sikh community.

He said that minorities in Pakistan had complete freedom to practice their religion and their holy days were observed under state patronage.

Mr Gondal also informed the under-training military officers about various development projects launched for upkeep and provision of different facilities, especially welfare, boarding and lodging at various religious places of the minorities across the country.

He said that Pakistan, being the custodian of different religions like Buddhism, Sikhism and Hinduism, was making allout efforts for upkeep and preservation of buildings of religious importance of various religions and ensured their religious freedom despite challenges at financial and social sectors.

Speaking on the occasion, the chairman of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), Dr Aamer Ahmed, said that the government of Pakistan and ETPB were committed to protecting rights of minorities in the country.

Published in Dawn, February 8th, 2020