Khalistan

UNDERESTIMATING THE SIKH COMMUNITY

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ALI SUKHANVER

Ali display picGurdawara Panja Sahib is a Sikh temple located 48 kilometers away from Pakistan’s very important city Rawalpindi in Hassan Abdal and is considered one of the most sacred places of worship for the Sikhs from all over the world. It is visited by thousands of Sikh and Hindu pilgrims twice every year. A few weeks back, I had a chance of visiting Gurdawara Panja Sahib in precious company of Dr. Ali Ahmed Kharal who is a world renowned educationist and author of a research book ‘Humanism & Pakistani English Novel’.  Gurdawara Panja Sahib is no doubt a majestic building with a unique historical background built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh somewhere in the 15th century, according to some historians. My intention of going to Hassan Abdal was to visit Cadet College Hassan Abdal too which is the first Cadet College in Pakistan and was established at the initiative of General Muhammad Ayub Khan, the then Commander-in-Chief of the Pakistan Army. Though Hassan Abdal is a Muslim majority town but all around the Gurdawara one could find a lot of Sikh residents. The government of Pakistan has provided them all facilities, all basic rights and all possible security. They say, ‘Pakistan is our own homeland; it is the land of Gurdawara Panja Sahib, so it is very dear and sacred to us.’ Coming out of the Gurdawara, we met an old Sikh Sardar in a street leading to the town. I have forgotten his name but his hopefully glittering eyes are still in my memories. He said to me, ‘We shall build a very grand mosque in Khalistan and safeguard it, just to thank our Pakistani Muslim brothers for the care they shower upon us and our places of worship in Pakistan’. I don’t know when the Sikhs would succeed in getting an independent homeland of their own but I am very much sure that they would certainly build a grand mosque when they succeed in materializing their dream of Khalistan. Sardar Jee promised to invite me to the first National Day of Khalistan when Khalistan comes into being. God knows better what is the present status of the Khalistan Movement but the hope-glittering eyes of Sardar Jee seemed very much confident that things would be alright soon.Read More »UNDERESTIMATING THE SIKH COMMUNITY