IRS seminar: “Sikhism: Contributions to global peace & prosperity and role in the Far East

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IRS seminar: “Sikhism: Contributions to global peace & prosperity and role in the Far East

ISLAMABAD, JUN 5 /DNA/ – Participants of a symposium highlighted the contributions of the Sikh diaspora communities in promoting global peace, harmony, and prosperity as well as the role of the Government of Pakistan in preservation and maintenance of Sikh holy sites in the country. The symposium titled “Sikhism: Contributions to global peace & prosperity and role in the Far East,” was organized by the Institute of Regional Studies (IRS). It gathered experts on the subject from the Far East Region.

Speaking on the occasion, the Federal Minister for Law and Justice Mr. Azam Nazeer Tarar highlighted the significance of Pakistan as the birthplace of Sikhism, the respect that the government and the people of Pakistan accorded to Sikh sacred sites, and the warm reception they extended to Sikh pilgrims since the creation of Pakistan. He lauded the contributions of Sikh diaspora communities to various sectors of economies of their home countries.

The participants of the symposium highlighted that the spirit of Sikhism was deeply embedded in the values of peace, equality, selfless service, and empowerment of communities to take collective action for promoting peace-loving, service-oriented, and inclusive societies. The participants highlighted that the Sikh diaspora communities  always contributed towards promoting global peace and harmony as well as the rich cultural  and spiritual  traditions of Sikh religion.

The speakers particularly emphasized the Sikh religious principle of “Seva” (selfless service) as a motivating factor in promotion of harmony among the Sikh diaspora communities and a culture of service to humanity. The speakers talked about various aspects of the Sikh tradition of selfless service such as feeding the hungry through the free communal kitchens known as Langars. They shared that Langars served free food to anyone in need irrespective of his or her background. The participating delegates from Malaysia, and Australia shared specific instances of service from their countries in which the Sikh diaspora communities were actively involved.

The speakers also shared information about the activities either directly organized or participated in by leaders of the Sikh diaspora communities for the promotion of interfaith harmony. They mentioned several interfaith conferences and events they had participated in or organized in their countries. They further shared that the Sikh communities were also active in the education sector through establishment of schools and provision of scholarships. The participants highlighted the importance of peace, tolerance, and inclusivity and the need to build a more peaceful and inclusive society through educational initiatives.

The participants of the symposium expressed their appreciation for the preservation and upkeep of the Sikh holy sites in Pakistan. They maintained that important holy sites like Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, and Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hassanabdal were preserved and maintained well by the local Sikh communities with the support of the Government of Pakistan.

Among the key participants of the symposium were Prof. Dr. Harwindar Singh, Founder, Harvey Gill Associates (Malaysia); Adv. Dato Pretam Singh, Founder, Pretam Singh Nor & Co. (Malaysia); Mr. Gurbax Singh Bains, Supreme Sikh Council (Australia); Professor Dr Manjit Singh, Partner, MSSMR (Malaysia); and Adv. Sucha Singh, former President of the Malaysian Gurdwara Council.