BRUSSELS, (DNA): The Embassy of Pakistan has organized a seminar
and photographic exhibition on ‘Cultural Diversity of Pakistan and
Kartarpur Corridor’ at the Brussels press club, which attracted high
appreciation from European and Sikh communities of Belgium on Kartarpur
Sahib corridor initiative.
The event was attended by a large number of diplomats including
ambassadors, high officials of the EU Foreign Office and other European
Institutions, think tanks, academics, media persons and representatives
of different religious organizations, a press release received here
Sikh pilgrims from Belgium, who recently visited Pakistan for the
inauguration of Kartarpur Sahib corridor, were also invited to share
On the occasion, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the
European Union Zaheer A Janjua said it was important to highlight the
opening up of the Kartarpur corridor, a passage giving visa-free and
quick access to Sikh pilgrims to the shrine of Baba Guru Nanak Dev, the
founder and spiritual leader of the Sikh religion.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan himself took keen interest in the completion
of the project, which was constructed in record time of less than a
year,” he added.
Tracing roots of religious heritage in different periods of history,
ambassador Janjua gave an overview of growth and expansion of various
religions including Budhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Sikhism in the
areas that constituted present day Pakistan.
He also talked about the indigenous characteristics of Sufism as an
effective way of promoting teachings of the Holy Quran and the Holy
Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). He also referred to the first
presidential address of the founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad
Ali Jinnah about the freedom of religions in the state of Pakistan.
Photographs by award winning photographer Syed Javaid A Kazi,
representing places of worships and festivals of different religions in
Pakistan as well as books on religious and cultural heritage of Pakistan
were also displayed on the occasion.
During the seminar, various aspects of Pakistan’s cultural diversity and
religious heritage including the contribution of Christian community
towards health and education sector were also discussed.
Former German Member of the European Parliament Frank Schwalba-Hoth,
Sikh leader Gurdawer Singh, father Adeel Mazhar, a Pakistani priest
currently serving in Belgium, and sister Shama Chan. Brother Luc
Vansina, a Belgian priest who had served in Pakistan.
Sikh community leader Gurdawer Singh expressed deep gratitude to the
government and people of Pakistan for their hospitality and support.
Singh said, “I love Pakistan and I love Prime Minister Imran Khan for
taking this initiative which has enabled many Sikh pilgrims to visit
their holiest place of worship”. He shared his experience of his visit
to Pakistan reckoning how he was warmly welcomed everywhere and the
respect and care he received from the people.
Father Adeel Mazhar gave a comprehensive view of contribution of the
Christian community in the fields of education and medicines in
Pakistan. Sister Shama Chan talked about harmony among various cultures
and religions in Pakistan, saying that all the different religions and
cultures maintain their distinct identities yet experience strong bonds
of unity as one nation.
Former German MEP Frank Schwalba-Hoth expressed concerns over situation
of human rights in Indian occupied Kashmir and called upon the
international community to take action in this regard. DNA