8,000 Sikhs arrive in Pak

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 22:25

Islamabad: About 8,000 Sikh pilgrims from
various countries, including India, Afghanistan and Britain,
have arrived in Pakistan to join celebrations marking the
543rd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

The three-day celebrations began at Nanaka Sahib, the
birthplace of the founder of the Sikh religion, yesterday.

The three-day celebrations began at Nanaka Sahib, the
birthplace of the founder of the Sikh religion, yesterday.

Among the `yatris` or pilgrims are over 3,000 Sikhs from
India who travelled across the border in three special trains.
The pilgrims will visit Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Panja
Sahib at Hasanaadal, Dera Sahib and other holy sites.

The administration and law enforcement agencies have put
in place tight security arrangements to prevent any untoward
incidents during the celebrations.

Additional Secretary (Shrines) Zahid Hussain Bokhari
welcomed the Indian Sikhs who crossed over by train at the
Wagah border.

The government has opened special outlets of money
changers and the National Bank of Pakistan at the border to
facilitate the pilgrims.

Authorities also set up a dispensary, arrangements for
food and additional visa counters for speedy clearance of the
pilgrims.

Sikh leaders Malkar Singh and Jaspal Singh told the media
that they were pleased to be in the land of their spiritual
leader.

They expressed satisfaction at the arrangements made by
the Pakistan government for the yatris.

They were thankful to the government and people of
Pakistan for the hospitality accorded to them.

Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee member Sardar
Sham Singh urged the governments of Pakistan and India to
simplify the visa procedures for Sikh pilgrims.

The Indian Sikh pilgrims are expected to return by
November 17.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 9, 2011 - 22:25

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