SGPC hails British move to raise Sikh regiment
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has welcomed the move to raise a Sikh army regiment in Britain.punjab Updated: Feb 25, 2015 22:07 IST
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has welcomed the move to raise a Sikh army regiment in Britain.
On Wednesday, the committee welcomed the announcement by several British House of Commons members in the lower house of parliament that the UK army was considering the proposal all over again.
In a statement issued from the religious body's headquarters here, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar requested British minister of state for armed forces Mark Francois to carry the proposal forward, get the British army's chief of general staff to see it positively, and ensure that it was not dropped as the Commission for Racial Equality had done in 2007 on the grounds that a separate Sikh regiment would be "divisive and amounting to segregation".
The proposal after being passed by the House of Commons is now with the British army. Makkar recalled the role that Sikh soldiers had played in the two world wars as part of the British army. "They won appreciation whereever they were stationed," he added.
Makkar called upon more countries to give a thought to inducting Sikhs in their armed forces. "Being a progressive community, Sikhs have contributed immensely to the progress and development of their adopted countries after moving out of India," he said.
Currently, nearly 160 Sikhs serve in the British armed forces but have no separate regiment as the Gorkhas.