By Yudhvir Rana in Times of India
Young researcher urge Sikhs to explore layers of Sikh history in Pakistan
A young Muslim researcher from Pakistan has suggested Sikh devotees visiting Pakistan to not limit themselves to Gurdwara’s only but to explore the layers and layers of Sikh history.
Twenty-six-year-old researcher, Jahandad Khan who hails from Hazara, a region in the North-Eastern part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan which is located east of the Indus River and bordering with Afghanistan told TOI on Saturday that the Sikh community only goes to Panja Sahib or Nankana Sahib, the two most popular sites related to Guru Nanak, or other Gurdwara’s whereas Pakistan had layers and layers of Sikh history.
“There are so many battlefields, forts and infrastructure set up and built by the Sikhs. They were not only fighters, but they were also builders. They were artists and open-minded as evident from the representation of Hinduism and Islam in fresco’s” said Khan.
Khan was awarded for his work by Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, Washington.
He said the world had a great deal to learn from the Sikh legend Hari Singh Nalwa. “My parents used to tell us that our home was built by a Sikh who was the commander of a great Sikh army. That led me to study more about Nalwa. My journey has taken me on an overlapping quest to connect with my own identity, and I learned that my own roots connected me with great legends like Hari Singh Nalwa and Maharaja Ranjit Singh, along with other Sikh heritage.”
Delivering a message to the youth while urging them to understand history rationally, he said “I would also like to appeal to Sikhs, particularly to youth, to come to these places. There is no substitute to interaction with the local population.”
Secretary of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation Rajwant Singh said “We are pleased to see Jahandad Khan’s passion for Hari Singh Nalwa and his drive to create better understanding among Sikhs and the people of Pakistan, especially in the Hazara region. We feel that his work needs to supported by all Sikhs and by major Sikh institutions. Hari Singh Nalwa is a great role model for the youth and his life needs to be presented in a creative manner. Nations, especially India and Pakistan, and the people in South Asia can take clues from Nalwa’s life to create a better environment in the entire region.”