Pakistan a minority-loving country: Siddiqul Farooq

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APP31-29 LAHORE: October 29 - Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Chaudhary Muhammad Barjees Tahir and Chairman (ETPB) Saddique-ul Farooq addressing a press conference. APP photo by Mubarak Ali

LAHORE, Oct 29 (APP):Chairman Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Siddiqul Farooq has said that Pakistan is a minorities-loving country and the Sikh community enjoyed all rights.
In an interview with APP here on Sunday, he said:” Our religion Islam enjoins upon all Muslims to protect all minorities,” adding that the ETPB had dedicated all efforts to welfare and betterment of minorities in the country.
To a query, the ETPB chief said Guru Nanak Dev International University would be established in Nankana Sahib and no other city was being considered for the university campus, adding that only four research based disciplines of the university will be based in Islamabad campus.
He dispelled an impression that the university campus was being shifted to Muridke, adding that he had constituted a committee with federal Minister Barjees Tahir as convener while MNA Dr Shizra Mansab, Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister Rana Muhammad Arshad, MPAs Malik Zulqarnain Dogar, Ramesh Singh Arora and Rubina Asif are members and the committee which would submit its recommendation within four weeks.
About the foundation-laying of the university, Siddiqul Farooq said the bill for the establishment of Guru Nanak Dev International University and the Gandhara Heritage Inetrnational University was with the cabinet division for federal charter and will be presented before
parliament soon.
Responding to another query, he said Guru Nanak University would be set for the Sikh community and the Punjabi community while the Gandhara University would promote Buddhism, adding that China, South Korea, Thailand and Japan had offered financial assistance for the creation of Ghnadara university.
He said the establishment of these universities would increase religious tourism, enhance foreign exchange and project soft image of the country.
About the Guru Nanak University, the ETPB chairman said the university would work on the Persian works on the Sikh religion available in the Punjab University, adding that these works will be translated into Gurmukhi, Shahmukhi and Urdu. He said two chairs, including Guru Nanak Chair and Baba Farid Chair, will be established in the Nanakana Campus for the promotion of Punjab language, culture and the Sikh religion. He said 16 BS disciplines would be set up at Guru Nanak Dev International University Nankana Sahib.
He said Punjabi language suffered in India as 100-200 Punjabi words were being deleted from the Punjab lexicon every year in India which had a negative impact on the Punjabi language and culture.
Earlier, the chairman ETPB held a press conference which was attended by Federal Minister Barjees Tahir, MNA Shizra Mansab, MPAs Rana Muhamamd Arshad, Malik Zulqarnain Dogar, stake-holders from Nanakana Sahib, memebers of the civil socity, parliamentarians and Sikh leaders, including President Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee (PSGPC) Pardhan Tara Singh and General Secretary PSGBC MPA Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora.