Pakistan issues visas to Sikh pilgrims on occasion of Baisakhi celebrations

The issuance of pilgrimage visas to religious pilgrims by the High Commission is in line with the Government of Pakistan’s commitment to fully implement the Bilateral Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines between the two countries.

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Islamabad: On the eve of Baisakhi celebrations, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has issued over 2200 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to participate in the annual festival scheduled to be held in Pakistan from 12-21 April 2022.

The issuance of visas is covered under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974. Every year, a large number of Sikh Yatrees from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals. The visas issued from New Delhi are in addition to the visas granted to Sikh pilgrims participating in these events from other countries.

The issuance of pilgrimage visas to religious pilgrims by the High Commission is in line with the Government of Pakistan’s commitment to fully implement the Bilateral Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines between the two countries.

Expressing his views on the auspicious occasion, Charge d’Affaires Aftab Hasan Khan, extended his heartfelt felicitations to the pilgrims and wished them a rewarding and fulfilling yatra. Pakistan takes immense pride in preserving sacred religious places and providing necessary facilitation to the visiting pilgrims, he added.

During the visit, the pilgrims would, inter alia, go to Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib. They would enter Pakistan on 12 April and return back to India on 21 April 2022. The Pakistan Railways has planned to operate nine special trains from April 12 to 17 to facilitate Sikh pilgrims coming from India for their religious rituals.

According to a letter issued on the directions of Divisional Superintendent Lahore Rahat Mirza on Thursday, special arrangements would be made for the guests at the railway stations, especially at Nankana Sahib and Hassan Abdal.

Arrangements for filtered cold water, clean washrooms, proper train announcements, comfortable sitting arrangements, parcel system for additional luggage and well furnished passenger coaches will be made available for the Sikh yatrees.

Railway officers will remain available and monitor the facilities during the visit of the Sikh yatrees, added the officials. Additional Secretary Shrines Rana Shahid, Deputy Secretary Imran Gondal, Pardhan Sardar Ameer Singh, and other Sikh leaders and board officials will receive the yatrees.

Rana Shahid said that under the directions of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Dr Amir Ahmad, all arrangements including security would be ensured. He said that the main ceremony would be held at Gurdwara Punja Sahib at Hassan Abdal. The Sikh yatrees will return to India on April 21.

The Pakistan Railways has planned to operate nine special trains from April 12 to 17 to facilitate Sikh pilgrims coming from India for their religious rituals.

According to a letter issued under the directions of Divisional Superintendent Lahore Rahat Mirza on Thursday, special arrangements would be made for the guests at the railway stations, especially at Nankana Sahib and Hassan Abdal.

Arrangements for filtered cold water, clean washrooms, proper train announcements, comfortable sitting arrangements, a parcel system for additional luggage, and well-furnished passenger coaches will be made available for the Sikh yatrees.

Railway officers will remain available and monitor the facilities during the visit of the Sikh yatrees, added the officials.

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