21 Hindu pilgrims arrive in Pakistan for 'Shivaratri'

A group of 21 Hindu pilgrims from India on Sunday arrived in Pakistan to attend the Shivaratri festival at the historic Katas Raj temple in Punjab province.

Lahore: A group of 21 Hindu pilgrims from India on Sunday arrived in Pakistan to attend the Shivaratri festival at the historic Katas Raj temple in Punjab province.

On entering Pakistan through the Wagah border, the pilgrims were received by officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), which is responsible for maintaining shrines of minority communities in the country, and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandik Committee.

ETPB's deputy director (Shrines) Fraz Abbas said the board was expecting over 100 Hindus and had made arrangements accordingly, but only 21 pilgrims turned up.

The pilgrims will have a three-day stay at the 900-year-old temple in Chakwal district, about 270 kms from here, and will perform the main rituals on February 17.

The pilgrims will return to Lahore on February 19 to attend the government's receptions and on February 21 they will leave for India.

Strict security arrangements have been made for the pilgrims, officials said.  

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