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Calendar dates differ yet again, Pak Sikh leaders want unanimous consent

AMRITSAR: Pakistan’s Sikh political and religious leaders advocated unanimity on the faith’s Nanakshahi Calendar once again when India observed the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev on May 23, while they will observe it on June 16.

Expressing concern about the divergent dates assigned to sacred occasions, Pakistan Provincial Assembly’s former member Mahinderpal Singh said: “These discrepancies not only widen the rift among Sikhs but also foster misconceptions and misunderstandings.” He proposed to Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) to meet up at a neutral venue for which he suggested “the auspicious Gurdwara Janamasthan Guru Nanak Dev at Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, revered among Sikh leaders around the world”.

Former PSGPC president Bishan Singh said he had discussed it with global Sikh leaders already and now he awaited a response from the SGPC. He said: “In this age of social media, Pakistani Sikhs know in an instant when India observes Guru Arjan Dev’s martyrdom anniversary and then they ask us why we don’t commemorate it. The differences over Nankashahi Calendar should be sorted out without further delay.” Confronted, SGPC general secretary G S Garewal agreed that the religious calendar should be without discrepancies and all Sikh religious occasions must be observed on the same date worldwide.

However, Garewal claimed that the SGPC was bound by the directives of the Akal Takht, highest temporal seat of the Sikhs, and if Takht instructed them to reconcile the differences, the action will be prompt.

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