Imran Khan (File Photo)
Pakistan's Punjab province government has allocated 70 acres of land for setting up an international university named after Guru Nanak in Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of the first Sikh Guru.
The funds for the construction of the Baba Guru Nanak International University (BGNIU) in Nankana Sahib, about some 80 kms from Lahore, will be allocated in the budget of financial year 2019-20, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said in a statement here on Thursday.
The chief minister said this project will be part of the coming development budget in the province.
He said the government would also establish a police lines, a prison and National Registration Database Authority (Nadra) in Nankana Sahib.
There has been a demand from Sikhs living in Pakistan to construct a university named after the founder of their religion Guru Nanak at his birthplace in Nankana Sahib. Proposal of university was first surfaced during the Punjab government of Pervaiz Elahi in 2003. Two years ago in the government of PML-N, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) gave a final approval to the project.
Then ETPB chairman Siddiqul Farooq said this varsity would help promote religious tourism in Pakistan and also portray the country's good image at the international level.
Earlier this year, for the first time a Pakistani university had created the Baba Guru Nanak research chair to promote the message of peace that the Sikh spiritual leader preached.
"The Punjab University Lahore has created the Baba Guru Nanak research chair. This is the first ever initiative of any university in the country. The students of the varsity will carry out research on the teachings of Baba Guru Nanak," Punjab University spokesperson Khurram Shahzad had said.
"It was not only the demand of the Sikhs but the academia that feels the need to promote message of tolerance of Baba Guru Nanak in the society," Shahzad said.