NEW DELHI: Pakistan High Commission, on the eve of Martyrdom Day of Guru Arjun Dev Ji, Tuesday issued 163 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to participate in the annual festival to be held in Pakistan from June 8-17. The issuance of visas was covered under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974.
Every year, a large number of Sikh Yatrees from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals/occasions.
The visas issued from New Delhi were in addition to the visas granted to Sikh pilgrims participating in these events from other countries, a press release issued here by Pakistan High Commission said.
The issuance of pilgrimage visas to religious pilgrims by the High Commission was in line with the Government of Pakistan’s commitment to fully implement the Bilateral Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines between the two countries.
Expressing his views on the auspicious occasion, Charge d’ Affaires Aftab Hasan Khan extended his heartfelt felicitations to the pilgrims and wished them a rewarding and fulfilling yatra.
“Pakistan takes immense pride in preserving sacred religious places and providing necessary facilitation to the visiting pilgrims,” he added.
During the visit, the pilgrims would, inter alia, go to Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib. They would enter Pakistan on June 8 and return back to India on June 17 2022.
According to spokesman for the ETPB, Board Chairman Habibur Rehman Gilani said that all religious rites were performed according to the schedule of Sikh Parbandhak Committee in Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan and Trust Board in collaboration with PSGP was engaged in other arrangements including security of Sikh pilgrims at Wagah border.
Speaking on the occasion, ETPB additional scretary shrines Rana Shahid said that Pakistan was a holy place for Sikhs. “We take all possible steps for the payment of religious ceremonies and hospitality every time”, he added.
Sardar Sikh Mandir Singh, the party leader of Sikh yatrees said that Pakistan was their second home and no one could stop them from visiting here, “we will keep coming to visit our Guru’s land”. “There is a lot of love for Pakistan, other yatrees who came with the group, said this while expressing happiness for coming for Pakistan Yatra”.
They said that they were grateful for this everlasting love of the Muslims.
After performing religious rites in Hassanabdal, Sikh yatrees will visit Gurdwara Janamasthan Nankana Sahib on June 10 where they will visit Gurudwara Sacha Sauda and perform their rituals. They will visit Gurudwara Rohri Sahib Aimenabad and Kartarpur Narowal on June 13 to 15. The main ceremony will be held on June 16 at Gurudawara Dera Sahib Lahore. The Sikh yatrees will return home on June 17.