General Pak To Allow Sikh Weddings Under Anand Marriage Act

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Apr 4, 2005
Pak to allow Sikh weddings under Anand Marriage Act
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 24 2007
In a significant development, the government of Pakistan has decided to allow members of the Sikh community to register their marriages under the Anand Marriage Act.

An announcement to this effect was made by Sayyad Afzal , federal law minister, on the demand put forward by Pritpal Singh, president of the American Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (AGPC), while addressing the Sikh sangat at Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahib, to mark the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Sikhs from different countries, including Manmohan Singh and Avtar Singh Sanghera, both UK-based Dal Khalsa and Babbar Khalsa leaders, were present when Pakistan's law minister announced that the necessary ordinance would be issued within a week, enabling Sikhs to register their marriages under the new Act .

The AGPC president said the Sikhs used to register their marriage under the Anand Marriage Act. However, after Independence, the government of India scrapped the separate marriage Act for Sikhs. With the result, Sikhs had no option but to register their marriages under Hindu Marriage Act.

Meanwhile, a symbolic nagar kirtan (religious procession) was taken out in the gurdwara complex. It could not be taken out in the lanes and bazaars of Nankana Sahib, as a precautionary measure, in the wake of the emergency in Pakistan.

The AGPC Chief told The Tribune on telephone that more than 5,000 security personel, including those in mufti, were deployed to avoid any untoward incident.

The Jathedar of Akal Takht, Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, had written to Bishan Singh, president of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, to not take out the nagar kirtan in Pakistan, keeping in view the security concerns of the Sikh pilgrims.

On the other hand, the radical Sikh organisations, in a meeting, held in Nankana Sahib rejected the resolution passed by the general house of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) yesterday for the cooption of Sikhs from foreign countries in the SGPC. The AGPC chief, Pritpal Singh, said the foreign Sikhs would not join any organisation, including the SGPC, which came into being under the Act, passed by the Parliament of India. The SGPC's general house passed the resolution, urging the government of India to allow the cooption of some members from foreign countries. He, however, said they would accept any international Sikh body formed under the aegis of Akal Takht.

The AGPC chief said an 11-member delegation of Sikhs from different countries would meet General Pervez Musharraf or the Prime Minister of Pakistan before November 29. The delegation would urge General Musharraf to construct a corridor from Gurdwara Kartarpur in Pakistan, linking Dera Baba Nanak (in India) so that Sikh pilgrims could visit shrines in both countr

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