Lahore: Visas of some 850 Indian Sikhs, who
are currently in Pakistan to participate in celebrations
marking birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, have been extended
for three more days to enable them to visit more shrines.
The Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee had earlier
obtained visas for the Indian pilgrims visiting Pakistan,
which were valid from October 31 to November 6.
"Following a request from groups of pilgrims that could
not visit several gurdwaras in Punjab because of paucity of
time, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Syed Asif
Hashmi conveyed their sentiments to authorities, including the
Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, and eventually their
visas were extended for three days," ETPB spokesman Amer
The ETPB maintains the shrines of minority communities in
Pakistan and facilitates visits by pilgrims from abroad.
Earlier, during their seven-day stay in Pakistan, the
pilgrims were scheduled to visit Gurdwara Janamasthan in
Nankana Sahib, Guru Nanak`s birthplace; Gurdwara Hasanabdal
near Rawalpindi and Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore.
The visiting Sikhs were at Gurdwara Dera Sahib when they
were informed that their visas had been extended. The news
brought happiness to the pilgrims, who would now be able to
visit a few more gurdwaras.
The pilgrims have lauded the arrangements made by the
ETBP, which has also arranged a dinner in honour of the
visiting pilgrims at a hotel in Lahore.