Lahore, March 28: The first president of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) Sardar Sham Singh has died of brain hemorrhage. The 80-year-old Sham Singh breathed his last yesterday at the Combined Military Hospital here.
"Sham Singh suffered brain hemorrhage last week. He was shifted to the Combined Military Hospital in Lahore where doctors could not save his life," Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) spokesman Amir Hashmi said. His last rites were performed at Gurdwara Janamesthan Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Baba Guru Nanak.
A large number Sikhs attended the cremation ceremony. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today expressed deep grief and sorrow over the death of Sham Singh.
"Sham Singh's services for Sikh community within Pakistan and around the world would be remembered in golden words," the prime minister said in a statement, as he extended his condolences to the bereaved family.
The ETPB which looks after the holy places of minorities in Pakistan, will call a meeting of the PSGPC to choose its new president. PSGPC comes under the ETPB. "We will call the meeting of PSGPC in a week or so to select new president," Hashmi said.
Sham Singh was elected first president of the PSGPC after it was established by the Pakistan government in 1998. He was re-appointed in 2008.
His appointment was controversial and was initially opposed by the Amritsar-headquartered Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the top body of the Sikhs which used to manage Pakistan's Sikh shrines prior to the establishment of PSGPC in 1998. Born on December 11, 1936 in Kadrabad village of Faisalabad district of Punjab.