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First Sikh officer inducted into Pakistan Army

Source: PTI
April 15, 2006 22:20 IST
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A man hailing from the birthplace of Guru Nanak Saturday became the first Sikh in Pakistan to be commissioned into the army.

Wearing a blue turban and sporting a traditional beard, Hercharan Singh of Nankana Sahib marched to the military tunes at the Pakistan Military Academy in Kakul and was formally commissioned into the army at a ceremony presided over by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

"I am proud to be a Pakistani and to join Pakistan Army," state run APP quoted Singh as saying.

Being the eldest son, Singh's mother was initially hesitant to send him for military training. "But now she is proud of me," he said.

He had earlier joined the National College of Arts, but opted to serve as an officer in Pakistani Army later.

The Pakistani armed forces have some Christian officers, but Singh is the first Sikh.

Pakistan has a small community of Sikhs with a few dozen families living in Punjab and the North West Frontier Province.

Addressing the parade on the occasion, Aziz said Pakistan is opposed to an arms race in the region and was pursuing a national security strategy to secure its national integrity, solidarity and economic sovereignty.

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