3,000 Sikhs to travel to Pak for Baisakhi Fest

Last Updated: Friday, April 6, 2012 - 13:50

Lahore: Some 3,000 Sikh pilgrims are expected
to arrive in Pakistan from India and other parts of the world to participate in the 10-day annual Baisakhi festival starting from April 10 and authorities have completed arrangements to
host them.

"Though special arrangements have been made lodging the
Sikh pilgrims in Lahore at Ayesha Saddiqua Degree College and
two schools, we may need to make further arrangements if the
number of pilgrims increases," said Amir Hashmi, spokesman for
the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), which is responsible
for maintaining the shrines and properties of minority
communities.

Hashmi said the police and other departments had been
engaged to put in place foolproof security and medical,
electricity, water, food and cleanliness measures for the Sikh
yatris.

"We have done this so that they can remember the great hospitality of Pakistani institutions and the people even after they return to their native countries," he told reporters.
Besides police, the paramilitary Pakistan Rangers will
provide security to the visiting Sikhs.

The Sikh yatris will start assembling at Gurdwara Panja
Sahib at Hassanabdal from April 10 to celebrate the Baisakhi
festival.

The Indian pilgrims will enter Pakistan via the Wagah
land border crossing.

They will travel to Hassanabdal on special trains during
April 11-13.

They will perform their final rituals on April 14 and
then visit Nankana Sahab and other places before returning to
Lahore.

The ETPB has completed the renovation and decoration of
several gurdwaras ahead of the festival. Extra rooms have been
built at some gurdwaras to accommodate the yaris.

Thousands of Sikhs from across Pakistan will also join
the festivities.

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 6, 2012 - 13:50

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