There seem no likelihood of setting up of theproposed Baba Guru Nanak International University (BGNIU) at least in the near future at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan. The Pakistan government has failed to acquire the requisite 2500 acres of land even after nearly six years of its announcement.
"The land belongs to Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, but it is either given on contract to agriculturists or is in possession of local people. The government has so far not been able to acquire the land for BGNIU," said former president of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) Bishan Singh while talking to TOI on Thursday.
Bishan Singh, in consultation with international Sikh leaders, had taken up the proposal of setting up of university with Shaukat Aziz, who not only agreed, but also announced that the proposed university would be constructed in 2,500 acres of land at Nankana Sahib. "We will be pleased even if government helps us to take possession of 500 to 600 acres so that at least the construction work of university could begin," Singh said.
Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board (PETPB) additional secretary Zahid Bukhari, when contacted, didn't comment on the present status of the BGNIU. "I am out of my office and will talk later," all Zahid had to say. However he later didn't pick the phone.
Singh said last year in March it was announced that Pakistan prime minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani would lay the foundation stone of BGNIU but the function was postponed without giving any reason. Nankana Sahib Sikh Yatree Jatha president Swaran Singh said the land was in possession of influential agriculturists who have made it a political issue. Another reason for delay in setting up of university was lack of interest among Sikhs living across the world to send their sons and daughters to study in a trouble-torn region, said Singh.