Over 2,206 Sikh pilgrims from India reached Pakistan on Friday (12 April 2019) to visit the renowned shrine of Gurdwara Panja Sahib located in Hasan Abdal and celebrate Baisakhi there. The precise location is about 40 km away from the city of Rawalpindi, reports News18.
The shrine of is considered to be particularly important as the handprint of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, is believed to be imprinted on a boulder at the gurdwara.
The pilgrims will be staying in Pakistan for 10 days, and depart back for India on 21 April. During this course they are set to visit a number of other gurdwaras in the Punjab province of Pakistan as well, including Gurdwara Janamsthan Nankana Sahib.
The pilgrims arrived at the Wagah railway station in two special trains, which were received by Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee president, Sardar Tara Singh and the secretary of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), Tariq Khan. ETBP looks after holy places of the minority community in the country.
Special security arrangements have been made for them and elite force and rangers of Pakistani Army have deployed along with them for their security.
Talking to reporters, leader of the Indian delegation Sardar Varmindar Singh Khalsa expressed the hope that the government will issue visas to a large number of Indian Sikh pilgrims on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
Under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974, every year, a large number of Sikh pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals and occasions.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.