A 19-year-old Sikh youth has become the first from his minority community to become an officer in the Pakistan Army.
Harcharan Singh, from Nankana Sahib in Lahore province, cleared the Inter Services Selection Board examinations for military services in his second sitting this year.
"It was the happiest moment in my life when I came to know about my selection in the army. I am privileged to have this honour which none of my predecessors have achieved," Harcharan was quoted as saying by the Dawn newspaper Tuesday.
Though many Christians serve in the Pakistan military, there never has been a Hindu or Sikh officer in the country's history, the paper said.
Singh, who has passed FSc (a pre-engineering course), was a little "sceptical" this year while attending the ISSB preliminary exams thinking that such tests were "not meant for Sikhs" as he could not get through last year. "This year I got through the preliminary phase and appeared in the ISSB test. However, I was mentally prepared to take admission in BA Architecture," he said.
He said fellow Sikhs were "really felt proud" about him. "My selection changed the perception and now people believe that young Sikhs have a fair chance to join the country's most prestigious institutions."