Lahore: Pakistan’s Punjab government on Friday appointed the first vice-chancellor of the Baba Guru Nanak International University in Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak.
Professor Asghar Zaidi, the vice-chancellor of the College University Lahore, has been given the additional charge of the post of vice chancellor of Baba Guru Nanak International University (BGNIU). He will be the first vice chancellor of the varsity located about some 80 kilometres from Lahore.
A notification was issued by the Punjab Higher Education Department after the approval of Chancellor/Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar on Friday.
In October, 2019, Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone of the BGNIU in Nankana Sahib.
“It is a matter of great pride for me that I will work as the first/founder Vice Chancellor of Baba Guru Nanak International University.” said Zaidi, an eminent social policy analyst and a recent recipient of Tamgha-i-Imtiaz.
Zaidi, who did his Ph.D in economics from the University of Oxford, pledged to work towards making the new university an international center of excellence for the study of Sikhism and for the promotion of Punjabi language.
He said the boundary wall of the varsity has been built and hopefully some classes will begin in the BGNIU in 2021 after the construction of some portion of the campus. He said the global Sikh community was also keen to fund the project.
The Punjab province government had allocated 70 acres of land for setting up the university.
The government has also planned to establish police lines, a prison and National Registration Database Authority (Nadra) in Nankana Sahib.
There had been a demand from the Sikhs living in Pakistan to construct a university named after the founder of their religion Guru Nanak at his birthplace in Nankana Sahib.
Proposal for setting up the university first surfaced in 2003. Two years ago, in the PML-N government, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) gave a final approval to the project.