2,200 visas issued to India’s Sikh pilgrims for Baisakhi celebrations

The annual festival is scheduled to be celebrated from April 12-21

Asif Mehmood April 09, 2019
The annual festival is scheduled to be celebrated from April 12-21. PHOTO: FILE

LAHORE: The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has issued 2,200 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations from April 12-21, 2019.

Under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974, a large number of Sikh yatrees (pilgrims) from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious events every year.

2,200 visas issued by the Pakistan High Commission are in addition to the visas granted to Sikh pilgrims participating in the event from other countries.

Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood, in a statement issued on Tuesday, said the goodwill gesture by the Pakistan government was reflective of the reverence attached to Baisakhi, both in its religious and cultural dimensions.

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Besides marking the start of the new Sikh year, Baisakhi is the time to harvest the rabi crop.

“We extend our profound greetings and felicitations to all our brothers and sisters celebrating this auspicious occasion and wish the visiting pilgrims a spiritually fulfilling journey,” said the Pakistani HC.

During their visit to Pakistan, the pilgrims would visit the holiest shrines of Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib, and Kartarpur Sahib.

The issuance of these pilgrimage visas is in line with the government’s efforts to facilitate visits to religious shrines and strengthen people-to-people exchanges. This also reflects the commitment of the government to faithfully implement the 1974 Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines.

“Pakistan remains committed to preserving sacred religious places and extending all possible facilitation for the visiting pilgrims of all faiths,” the statement further added.


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