Pakistan issues visas to 341 Sikh pilgrims

Pakistan on Friday issued visas to 341 Sikh pilgrims to visit Guru Arjan Dev Ji (Jore mela) celebrations to be held between June 8 and 17.

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Pakistan on Friday issued visas to 341 Sikh pilgrims to visit Guru Arjan Dev Ji (Jore mela) celebrations to be held between June 8 and 17.
The move comes days after Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif`s visit to New Delhi to attend Narendra Modi`s swearing-in ceremony. The relations between the two neighbouring countries have bettered since the visit with both the Prime Ministers sending gifts for each other`s mothers.
But all had no been rosy. Recently the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandhak Committee (SGPC) had claimed that the Pakistani High Commission had denied visas to Sikh pilgrims who wanted to pay obeisance at various shrines in Pakistan to mark the martyrdom day of fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar had termed the action of the Pakistani High Commission as "highly unfortunate".

Makkar said the issue of visas to Sikh pilgrims was discussed with Pakistani officials during his visit to the country on the invitation of Chief Minister of Pakistan`s Punjab Shahbaz Sharif.

Makkar said the SGPC had sent passports of the pilgrims to the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi for visas, but the embassy "has disappointed the Sikh community".

The Sikh pilgrims are scheduled to observe the martyrdom day of fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev at Lahore on June 1.

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