2,100 Indian Sikhs arrive in Pak to attend Baisakhi festival

PTI4_12_2016_000164A Girls take a selfie as they celebrate Baisakhi Festival, in a wheat field in Patiala on Tuesday | PTI

More than 2,100 Indian Sikhs arrived here today to take part in Baisakhi Festival at Gurdwara Hasan Abdal in Rawalpindi district of Pakistan's Punjab province.

"More than 2,100 Sikh Yatrees arrived in Lahore on Tuesday via Wagah Border on three special trains," Evacuee Trust Property Board spokesman Amir Hashmi told PTI.

He said special measures have been adopted to provide security to them.

"The Rangers and Elite Force have been engaged to provide security to the Sikh pilgrims," he said.

In the wake of bombing at a Lahore park which left 75 people dead, the government has taken "extra-ordinary" security measures for the visiting Sikhs.

Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandik Committee caretaker president Tara Singh and ETPB chairman Siddiqul Farooq received the yatress at the Wagah border.

The yatrees were presented with langar (food) at the railway station.

Soon after the arrival, the Indian Sikhs left for Hasanabdal to participate in 10-day Besakhi festivities starting on Wednesday.

The main event will be held on April 14.

The Indian Sikhs would also visit Gurdwara Janamesthan Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Sacha Soda in Farooqabad, Gurdawara Kartarpur Narowal and Gurdwara Dera Sahib Lahore.

They will leave for their home on April 21.

Talking to reporters, Sikh leader Sardar Manmohan Singh Khalsa stressed for people-to-people contacts between the two countries and demanded lifting of visa curbs for the purpose.

He said: "We receive enormous love at the land of Baba Gurunanak. People are extremely hospitable here."

He said the people of India were saddened by terror attacks on Peshawar school and Lahore park.

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Topics : #Pakistan | #Sikh | #Punjab | #Baisakhi

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