300 Indian Sikh pilgrims visit Pak for Jor Mela festival

Over 300 Indian Sikh pilgrims arrived here on Sunday to attend the Jor Mela celebrations of Guru Arjan Dev Jee, the fifth of the 10 Sikh gurus.

Lahore: Over 300 Indian Sikh pilgrims arrived here on Sunday to attend the Jor Mela celebrations of Guru Arjan Dev Jee, the fifth of the 10 Sikh gurus.

The officials of Evacuee Trust Property Board and Pakistan Gurdwara Parbhandik Committee greeted them at the Wagah Border.

The visit comes days after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited New Delhi to attend his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi`s swearing-in ceremony.

ETPB deputy director Fraz Abbas told that the Sikh pilgrims faced some inconvenience in reaching Wagah as the Indian authorities had refused to send them here by a Pakistani train.

"Some 300 Sikhs had to travel by foot up to Wagah which caused a lot of inconvenience to them," he said.

"The Indian authorities have given no reason to us for not sending Sikhs on a Pakistani train. However, it seems to be a security issue," Abbas said.

Gul Charan Singh, a group leader, told reporters that they had to cross over the Wagah by foot in scorching heat.

However, the warm welcome here had made them forget the harsh weather, he added.

"We are excited to be here as during our 10-day stay we will visit our holy places especially Gurdawara Janamesthan in Nankana Sahib," he said.

Another pilgrim Harbair Singh said that both the premiers Modi and Sharif should work for peace in the region.

"The people of India and Pakistan want peace. There should be an extensive trade between the two countries as it will benefit their people," he said.

After arriving here the pilgrims left for Gurdwara Janamasthan, some 80 kilometres from Lahore.

The main function in connection with Jore Mela will be held at Gurdwara Dera Sahib Lahore on June 16. They will return to India on June 17.

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