The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan is planning to set up Baba Guru Nanak International University in Nankana Sahib in order to portray a “softer image” of Pakistan to the world. The university that will be set up in collaboration with Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) is estimated to cost Rs 1,000 million.
There is a large Sikh population residing in countries like Japan, South Korea, North Korea, Thailand, China and other far eastern countries and the university will help promote Pakistan’s soft image to the community by offering academic studies and research on ancient Gandhara civilization and the life of Baba Guru Nanak. It is planned that the university will have faculties of Sikh studies, finance, building studies and languages and will help improve the socio-economic and educational condition of Nankana Sahib district.
The Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) already has a provision for the shared project with ETPB, with an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 million. HEC has prepared the draft charters of the university and forwarded the same to the Ministry of Education and Professional Training for further processing. ETPB has also approved the proposal of utilising its building in Islamabad.
The project will be prepared and submitted to Planning Commission for approval after finalisation of building and issuance of charter. HEC has suggested including eminent international scholars working on Sikh and Buddhism religions as a think-tank for the proposed university. Acknowledging the suggestion, ETPB has agreed to constitute an advisory committee to chalk out the modalitie.s
ETPB Chairman has written to the prime minister requesting him to allocate 20 kanals of state land in sector H-8 for establishing principal seats of the university in the federal capital.