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Sikh community celebrates Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary

TAXILA: The Sikh community celebrated the 358th birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh at the Sikh temple Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hasanabdal on Sunday.

The day was spent reciting from their religious scripture, Guru Granth Sahib, and cultural dancing while singing and chanting holy hymns as part of the Nagar Kirtan procession, featuring a palanquin adorned with flowers.

The major attraction of the procession was the display of ‘Gatka,’ a famous Sikh martial art, and other sword exercises from people of Khalsa School who came from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to demonstrate on this holy occasion.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Attock President Sardar Ashar Hayat Khan was chief guest while a large number of members of the Sikh, Christian and Hindu communities were present on the occasion.

Sardar Ravinder Singh Jaggi, a local Granthi, said Guru Gobind Singh was the 10th and last Sikh Guru and his greatest achievement was the creation of the Khalsa in 1699. A Granthi is a person who recites the Sikh holy scripture, the Guru Granth Sahib. He added that in his hymns of ‘Bachitar Natak’, he proclaimed his mission ‘to protect the righteous, oppressed and downtrodden people and to destroy the evil-doers’.

Members of other religious communities also attend celebrations at Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hasanabdal

According to Mr Singh, Guru Gobind preached for unity between humans, rejected all sorts of discrimination and preached equality and goodwill.

Asmatullah, caretaker of the Sikh temple, said it was a special day in the Sikh faith as it marked the birth anniversary of the 10th guru, adding Gobind Singh became a guru at the age of nine after the death of his father Guru Tegh Bahadur, and was assassinated in 1708 at the age of 41.

The leader of the local Christian community, Paul Gill, said such events would build understanding of traditions and beliefs of minorities, adding people here had shown a sign of interfaith harmony.

“We gathered here at Punja Sahib to honour the legacy of Guru Gobind Singh on his birth anniversary by spreading love, kindness and wisdom among the people around us,” said the PPP Attock president.

He expressed his gratitude to the diverse gathering for their enthusiasm and participation in the celebration of Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary. He said there was total freedom for all minorities to practice their faith without any fear of discrimination in the country.

He was of the view that the participation of people from different faiths and expression of solidarity with the Sikh community was proof that all communities were partners in the development and progress of Pakistan.

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