LAHORE: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Indian government on Friday barred Sikh pilgrims at the eleventh hour from visiting Pakistan to attend the death anniversary of their religious leader Guru Arjan Dev Jee (Jor Mela).
Special train arranged by Pakistani authorities had to leave from Wagah Railway Station to Attari, which is situated in India, to bring Sikh pilgrims but the train was not given clearance by New Delhi.
Speaking at Wagah station, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) Pardhan Sardar Tara Singh criticised the move, saying that the Modi government should not play politics over the religious matters.
He added that Sikh pilgrims come here every year to perform the religious rituals and lamented that despite having the visa, the pilgrims were not allowed to visit Pakistan.
Sikh pilgrims to reach Lahore today
All arrangements had been finalised by the government of Pakistan and the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) for Sikh Yatrees but New Delhi stopped the pilgrim at Attari Railway Station, Tara Singh said. "We strongly condemned the act of the Indian government."
According to details, pilgrims staged protest at Attari border and chanted slogans against the Indian authorities.
Moreover, the Pakistan government had made foolproof security arrangements besides provision of immigration, customs, bank and medical facilities at Wagah to provide help to the pilgrims.
Official sources said that the ETPB had made the best arrangements including accommodation, transport and food for Sikh yatrees besides foolproof security.