New Delhi, Jan 01 (ANI): Sardar Sham Singh has been appointed as the new head of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) after his candidature was unanimously accepted on Friday by members of the Sikh body.
He has been named president of PSGPC after a gap of nearly one-and-half years by the Pakistan Evacuee trust property board (PETPB). Chairman of the PETPB Asif Hashmi proposed Singh's name to head the Sikh body.
Talking to ANI, Sidique Khurram, a senior official of PETPB, said that the meeting was held in cordial atmosphere, which was chaired by Hashmi. Taru Singh and Sahib Singh have been appointed as vice president of the committee.
Khurram said that Taru Singh would look after Sikh affairs in Sindh and Baluchistan where as Sahib Singh would be in charge of religious affairs in Punjab and North West Frontier Province.
To take care of the Sikh Shrines situated in Pakistan and for the well being of the Sikh community living there, the Pakistan Government in 1999 constituted the PSGPC under the chairman of Javed Nasir, former ISI chief and appointed Sham Singh its first president.
Earlier, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the premier body of the Sikhs, opposed the formation of the PSGPC, but later on recognized the Pakistani body. Sham Singh served as the president of the committee for more than five years.
Mastan Singh and Bishen Singh also served as the president of the committee. Sikh Diaspora incliding SGPC, Amrican Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC), Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managemnet Committee (DSGMC) and Sikh council Switzerland welcomed the election of Sham Singh.
Speaking from Lahore Sham Singh said that his priority would be to expedite the works for the up keep and development of the Gurdwaras situated in Pakistan.
He said that he would ensure that Akal Takhat's code of conduct is restored in Gurdwara of Pakistan, and added that more accommodations will be constructed for Sikh pilgrims coming to the country whose number has increased in recent times.
Khurram claimed that PETPB is determined to provide all the logistic help including funds for the development of the Sikh shrines situated in Pakistan.
During last one year, the PETPB was in news for allegedly selling land belonging to the Sikh shrines. This would be another task before the newly elected President to protect the property of the Sikh shrines in Pakistan.
Welcoming appointment of Sham Singh as president of the PSGPC, president of the SGPC Avtar Singh hails Sham Singh for good works done during his previous tenure. He said the SGPC id ready to provide whatever help Sham Singh needs for the development of the Pakistani Sikh shrines.
DSGMC president Parmjit Singh Sarna said that Sham Singh is the senior most member of the committee and knows how to get the work done in Pakistan.
Pritpal Singh, convenor of AGPC, welcomed the election Sham Singh, and said that AGPC would provide all help for the restoration of the Sikh code of conduct in the Gurdwaras in Pakistan.
There are more than 172 historical Sikh Shrines in Pakistan but Pakistan allows Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit couple of them. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)