Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has been conferred with a Lifetime Achievement Award at an awards ceremony in the UK to coincide with the 550th birth anniversary celebrations for Guru Nanak.
The awards, hosted at the Mayor of London’s headquarters by the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for British Sikhs and London Assembly Member Onkar Sahota alongside British Sikh groups, honoured achievements across different fields.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, Deputy Mayor for Social Integration and Mobility Debbie Weekes-Bernard and APPG for British Sikhs Chair, Labour Party politician Preet Kaur Gill, were among some of the speakers at the event, co-hosted by the Sikh Network and Sikh Federation UK British Sikh groups known for pro-Khalistani affiliations.
“I invite Sikhs from all around the world to come to Pakistan, said Sahibzada Jahangir, Imran Khan’s spokesperson for trade and investment in UK and Europe, as he accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award on behalf of the Pakistani Prime Minister.
He spoke about Pakistan’s pride at the completion of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, which reinforced the idea of Sikhs as a bridge between cultures and countries.
India and Pakistan inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9 to provide for Indian pilgrims to visit one of Sikhism’s holiest shrines in the Pakistani town of Narowal without a visa.
The corridor links Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur in India to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak.
The 550th Gurpurb Guru Nanak Ji’ at City Hall in London on Tuesday also included honours for British Sikh powerlifter Kirenjit Kaur Bains, for her contribution to sports as the first Sikh woman to compete for Britain in the World Classic Powerlifting Championships earlier this year; Paul Bassi for his contribution to business; and Khalsa Aid for Contribution to charity and selfless seva.
“We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate inspirational aspects of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s life and recognise individuals from the British Sikh community who have demonstrated the teachings of Guru Nanak, in this very special 550th anniversary year,” noted the organisers of the event.
The event included kirtans and sought donations for the Kartarpur Sahib Yatra Committee, which is undertaking a building project to provide UK pilgrims with accommodation facilities at Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara.