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Pak minister says Gurdwaras in Pakistan will continue to follow Original Nanakshahi calendar

February 19, 2015 | By

New Jersey, USA: Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Pir Mohammad Amin-ul-Hasnat Shah has said they would continue to follow the original Nanakshahi calendar of the Sikhs in Pakistan.

Shah, as per a release issued by the American Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (AGPC), said this while addressing Sikh devotees at New Jersey’s Glenrock gurdwara during a programme organised to welcome him. The Pakistan minister said there might be some sections of the Sikhs who had been following the amended calendar, but in Pakistan the original calendar would stay in force.

He said the Sikh Gurdwaras in Pakistan were safe and the government was committed to their upkeep and maintenance.

Pakistan's Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Mohammad Amin-ul-Hasnat Shah being felicitated at a US gurdwara

Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs Pir Mohammad Amin-ul-Hasnat Shah being felicitated at a US gurdwara

Shah said the visa system should be liberalised to help the Sikh devotees reach Pakistan to pay obeisance at historic Gurdwaras. He also assured that the government was committed for the safety and security of the Sikhs.

Iqtidar Karamat Cheema said coordination between the Sikhs and the Muslims was needed to facilitate the visits of Sikh devotees to Pakistan.

In the past, the SGPC and the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) had been at loggerheads over the Nanakshahi Calendar row. The SGPC had to call off the visit of its jatha to Pakistan in 2011 and 2012 as the High Commission had denied visas, contending that the PSGPC was observing the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Ji on a different date as per the original Nanakshahi Calendar.

The SGPC wanted to observe the event as per the amended calendar and had sought visas accordingly.

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