–The Rs550 coin would be issued in honour of the Sikh spiritual leader’s 550th birth anniversary
–Sikhs laud ETPB’s decision, say they have felt nothing but love in Pakistan
–EPTB Secretary Tariq Wazir Khan says this will help promote Pakistan’s peaceful image
LAHORE: The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) is all set to launch a special coin and postal stamp to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Sikh spiritual leader Baba Guru Nanak, which will be held in November this year, Pakistan Today has learnt.
The Rs550 coin will be launched in June in order to show solidarity with the Sikh community of the world and all formalities have been completed for this purpose.
Speaking from Canada, Kuldeep Singh, a local leader of the Sikh community, said, “Some Sikh across the world fall trap to the negative propaganda against the Pakistanis but this gesture shows that Pakistanis are indeed peace-loving people who thrive on friendship and brotherhood.” He urged the Sikh across the world to reject the negative propaganda as it is nothing but hollow.
“I have visited Pakistan twice and have been welcomed by the government and ETPB with warmth and dedication and their hospitality is unparalleled. They have sheer love for the Sikh community and a vivid example of that is the opening of Kartarpur Corridor,” he said, adding that the coin will be of immense value and respect to the Sikhs across the globe.
Bhagwantjot Singh, another Sikh from Canada, said that he and his fellow Sikhs have always felt safe in Pakistan. “I was attending a ceremony at Dera Sahib Lahore and I was amazed at the hospitality of the officials and locals I met in the country during my stay,” he said, adding that when he went for shopping in parts of Lahore, the shopkeepers refused to charge him as a token of love.
“I think it is important for us to highlight the love extended to us by our brothers in Pakistan,” he added.
Arjeet Singh, a local Sikh who lives in old Lahore, appreciated this step and said that it sends out a message that Pakistanis want nothing but love for the Sikhs across the world. He also said that the Pakistani government has done a splendid job in maintaining the religious sites of the Sikh community.
ETPB Spokesperson Amir Hashmi told Pakistan Today that ETPB had done everything to maintain Sikh religious sites up to the mark as the government of Pakistan respects the religious attachment of Sikhs with the country. “It is because of this very essence of love and respect that we are issuing this coin,” he added.
ETPB Secretary Tariq Wazir Khan said that Pakistan always helps Sikhs who write to ETPB and express their desire of visiting the country in order to be proximity to the aura of spirituality present due to the presence of their religious sites.
“Pakistanis protect the Sikh community with all their heart and do everything to ensure the best arrangements for their brothers,” he said, adding that it is because of this act of love that the country receives an overwhelming response from Sikhs from across the world.
“Our decision of issuing this coin has been met with applause from not only Sikhs but from people of other religious groups as well,” he said, adding that the coin will be issued soon.
He also extended thanks to the government of Pakistan for backing the decision and for granting timely permission. “This will also aid in promoting a positive image of the country,” he added.