British Sikh soldiers
headed by Maj Gen Celia
visit GHQ, hold talks
with Gen Qamar Bajwa

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ISLAMABAD: A 12 member British Sikh soldiers’ delegation headed by Major General Celia J Harvey Deputy Commander Field Army UK, visited GHQ and met General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on 28th june.

Pakistan’s army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa (left) meets a delegation of British Sikh soldiers in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on June 28, 2022.

COAS said that Pakistan respects all religions and also recognizes the need for promotion of religious tourism in the country. Kartarpur corridor is the practical manifestation of Pakistan’s unwavering commitment towards religious freedom and harmony.

British Sikh soldiers visiting Pakistan with British High Commissioner Christian Turner in Islamabad.

The delegation visited Lahore where the dignitaries witnessed flag lowering ceremony at Wagha border. The delegation visited Lahore Fort, Allama Iqbal Mausoleum and Badshahi Mosque.

During their stay the British Sikh soldiers visited several religious sites in the country which included Darbar Hazrat Mian Mir, Haveli Naunihal Singh, Gurdwara Janamasthan Guru Ram Das, Samadi Ranjeet Singh, Gudwara Dera Sahib, Kartarpur Corridor, Nankana Sahib and Dera Panja Sahib.

British soldiers in Orakzai District

The delegation also visited Orakzai District and witnessed Samana Fort, Lockhart Fort and Saragarhi Monument. This was the place where 21 Sikh soldiers laid their lives in 1897 as part of British expedition and has much historical significance for Sikhs.  

The delegation laid wreath at Saragarhi Monument. The delegation lauded the efforts of Pakistan Armed Forces in bringing peace and normalcy in Tribal Districts.

Saragarhi Monument

The British Sikh soldiers also visited Orakzai District in the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and went to the Samana Fort, Lockhart Fort and Saragarhi Monument, where they laid a wreath to commemorate the 21 Sikh soldiers who laid their lives there in 1897 as part of a British expedition. The monument commemorates the Battle of Saragarhi in 1987 which saw 21 soldiers from the 36th Sikh Regiment of the British Indian Army fight against approximately 10,000 Orakzai and Afridi tribesmen to defend their outpost, according to Australian Sikh Heritage.

“Members of the Defence Sikh Network UK were privileged to take part in a defence engagement visit to Pakistan. During their trip, the team visited the Orakzai District, laying wreaths at the memorial dedicated to the 21 Sikh soldiers who fought in the Battle of Sargarhi in 1897” said Defence Sikh Network UK, the official UK Armed Forces organisation serving Sikhs and their community within the UK Ministry of Defence.