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Punja Sahib Hosts Minorities From Sindh


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Punja Sahib hosts minorities from Sindh By Amjad Iqbal

TAXILA: Whether it is earthquake, military operation or unprecedented floods, Gurdwara Punja Sahib is a safe haven for the Hindu and Sikh from Fata in North to Kandhkot in East.

After October 2005 earthquake, the Gurdwara provided shelter to Sikh families from Buner, Balakot and other areas divested by natural disaster.

In May 2009 when military operation against Taliban was at its peak in some parts of Khyber Paktunkhwa, over hundred Sikh families from Swat, Fata and Mingora took shelter here.

Recently Sikh and Hindu communities living in Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa stayed here for about one week after massive flood washed away their house and ruined their shops.

And now Sikh and Hindu minorities living in various parts of Sindh especially districts of Kashmor, Ghouspur and Kandhkot displaced by recent floods have taken shelter here as they consider this Sikh temple as safe haven for them.

Gokal Mal, the elder of Hindu community from Kandhkot district Kashmor, talking to this reporter said that “We 128 Hindu and Sikh families came yesterday to Gurdwara Punja Sahib with the clothes on our back. We lost everything in the floods.

He said more people are expected to come here from cities in Sindh and Balochistan after restoration of road network in these areas.”

He said that his fellow Hindu family traveled over 17 hours to reach here at Punja Sahib by paying triple fare to a coach owner as no one was ready to pick them up from the flooding areas.

When asked that why they traveled so long and got refuge here, he said that it was like their home and they felt safe and comfortable at the door of Guru. He lauded the arrangements made by Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) for their comfortable stay here.

Manhinder Lal from Kashmoor said that they fled when flood water was knocking their town. He said that due to poor law and order situation and harsh weather condition in Karachi and lack of facilities at relief camps they preferred to take shelter at Punja Sahib.

He said that dozens of children were with them and unlike the children in relief camps in Karachi who fell victim to gastro and skin diseases, here in the Gurdwara they were all free of these problems thanks to cool water and pleasant weather.

Most people like Makeesh Kumar, in his early fifties, evacuated his family of five from Ghouspur. He also praised the facilities at the temple.

Harjeet Singh from Jacobabad said that due to pleasant weather here in Hassanabdal they had forgotten their sufferings. He said that every day here it rained and weather got cool.

Ajay Singh, a shop owner, also from Jacobabad, said that they felt comfortable here at Punja Sahib due to religious and spiritual attachment with this place.

Shistal Das, another displaced person from Kandhkot said that from flood affected areas 1,500 people fled to Nankana Sahib, 1,000 to Dera sahib Lahore and some here at Punja Shib.

The Sikh leaders demanded of the Evacuee Property Trust Board to provide financial assistance and relief to flood-affected Sikhs.



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