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Mastan Singh Quits as Chief of P.S.G.P.C.


A.N.I., Amritsar, Jan. 6, 2006

Photo: Nankana Sahib, near Lahore, Pakistan

Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (P.S.G.P.C.) president Mastan Singh has resigned from his post.

He has been replaced by P.S.G.P.C. Executive Member Swaran Singh who hails from Pakistan's Swat region.

His resignation has exposed the prevailing unrest in P.S.G.P.C. and its differences with the Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board [P.E.T.P.B.] - the final decision making authority.

Sounding peeved, Mastan Singh told A.N.I. over the phone from Nankana Sahib on Friday that he had submitted his resignation on late Thursday night, but expressed his helplessness about giving reasons for the move.

'Time will reveal the truth which will also justify my decision. For now, I cannot say anything,' he said.

Mastan, however, claimed to have carried out developmental work of gurdwaras during his tenure as president of P.S.G.P.C.

Sources informed A.N.I. that Mastan Singh was forced to submit his resignation after he refused to pass the bills to the tune of nearly Rs. 40 lakh [$4 million] meant for earthquake victims. The donation was sent by Sikhs living in various countries including U.S.A., U.K., Canada, India etc.

In the past, Mastan Singh had come under the scanner for undertaking huge expenses on the name of development and the holding of a liquor license despite being a baptized Sikh. Sikhs who had been visiting Pakistan had also complained about the poor management of the community's shrines under Mastan's regime.

When asked whether the reported allegations of misappropriation of relief funds would bring bad name to the P.S.G.P.C., Mastan repeated, 'Only time will tell.' He said he would continue to contribute his services to P.S.G.P.C. as long as the P.E.T.P.B. desired so.

Meanwhile, the international Sikh Diaspora is disappointed over the 'disgraceful' events taking place within the P.S.G.P.C.

Sources informed that Bishan Singh, executive member of P.S.G.P.C., and Sham Singh, former president of P.S.G.P.C., are in the fray for the presidentship of the committee.

A few days ago Bishan Singh submitted a protest note against Mastan Singh with the chairman of P.E.T.P.B. Julifkar Ali Khan. P.E.T.P.B. was earlier headed by former I.S.I. chief Javed Nasir.