The first Pakistani Sikh to graduate from the Punjab University (PU) since partition says that there should be reserved seats for Sikhs at the university.
Talking on Friday, Juswinder Singh, who has passed his Bachelor’s in Arts (honours) programme, said that he belonged to the North Federal Administered Tribal Area (NAFATA), and got admission to the PU in 2004 on a seat reserved for NAFATA students. Juswinder said that he had scored a 3.4 GPA (grade point average) in his honours programme. He said that he would do his Masters in Business Administration in finance from the PU.
He demanded that the government reserve seats for Sikhs intending to take admission to the PU, as it was one of the most prestigious and oldest universities of Pakistan.
He said that the PU had reserved seats for children of army personnel and teachers, university employees and on the basis of sports and debate. “They have also reserved seats for students coming from NAFATA, Waziristan and Balochistan, but no seat has been reserved for minorities,” he complained. He said that the PU should make a policy on giving admission to all minorities.
He said that bilateral relations between India and Pakistan should be strengthened further, as it would give an opportunity to Pakistani Sikh students to be educated in India.
He said that Pakistani Sikh men usually married after they turned 30, as there were very few Sikh girls in Pakistan. He said that during times of peace between the two countries, Pakistani Sikh men could marry girls from Amritsar, which was not possible these days.
He said that he had enjoyed his time at the PU. “No one discriminated against me because of my religion and appearance during my four years at the university. It was the best time of my life because there were no worries,” he said.
He said that Muslim students had neither created hindrances nor had humiliated him at the PU. He said that he was proud of being the first Pakistani Sikh in the country’s history to get a four-year degree from the PU.