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Role of PSGPC at Kartarpur Sahib intact, says its chief

November 06, 2020 05:35 AM

COURTESY HT NOV 6

Role of PSGPC at Kartarpur Sahib intact, says its chief
Clarification comes amid reports that PSGPC lost control after Pak set up of a government body to manage affairs

According to a notification on November 3, a project management unit has been constituted for Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur by the Pakistan government. file photo
Surjit Singh

surjit.singh@htlive.com

AMRITSAR : Amid reports that the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) has lost control over Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, with the setting up of a government body to manage the historic shrine, its president Satwant Singh on Thursday clarified that the PSGPC’s role in the gurdwara management remains intact.

His clarification comes even as the ministry of external affairs said India received representations from the Sikh community expressing concern over the decision to transfer the management and maintenance of the Kartarpur gurdwara from the PSGPC to the administrative control of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETBP), a non-Sikh body.

“The fresh move of the Pakistan government is being misreported. Arrangements for the construction, maintenance and security outside the gurdwara are made by the ETPB, while arrangements related to Sikh rituals are still under the control of the PSGPC at Kartarpur Sahib and other historic gurdwaras in Pakistan,” Satwant Singh said over phone. “The PSGPC will continue to control the arrangements inside the gurdwara, including langar (community kitchen), accommodation of pilgrims, preparation and distribution of karah parshad, holding Akhand Path Sahib and managing the golak (donation box). These arrangements are related to Sikh Rehat Maryada and are being conducted by the PSGPC,” he said. The ETPB is a statutory board of the Government of Pakistan that administers evacuee properties, including educational, charitable or religious trusts left behind by Hindus and Sikhs who migrated to India after Partition. According to a notification on November 3, a project management unit (PMU), a self-financing body, for the management and maintenance of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, has been constituted under the administrative control of the ETPB. A total of nine officers have been posted under this body and all of them are Muslims. A spokesperson of the ETPB said: “The PSGPC is in-charge of all religious matters at the shrine. The ETPB has brought the PMU for better administrative management of Kartarpur gurdwara and facilitation of pilgrims.” India on Thursday asked Pakistan to reverse its “arbitrary decision” to hand over the management of the historic gurdwara to a body without any Sikh representatives.The Pakistan government’s move has evoked harsh reactions from the Sikh leaders in India. “Disgusted and shocked to see PSGPC losing control of the management of Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib and Pak Govt,” said Manjinder Singh Sirsa, the president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee.

SGPC writes letter to Pak high commission

The SGPC executive committee on Thursday passed a resolution to condemn the move. SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal said: “The move of the Pakistan government has hurt Sikh community. Gurdwaras are managed by the Sikhs always, who know maryada (Sikh rituals and code). Non-Sikhs cannot fulfil this responsibility. I urge the Pakistan government to review its decision. A copy of this resolution will be sent to the Pakistan government.”

Meanwhile, in a letter to ETPB chairman Aamer Ahmed, the Shiromani Akali Dal-Delhi (SAD-D) president and former DSGMC president Parmjit Singh Sarna sought representation of the Sikhs in the PMU.

 

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