ISLAMABAD: Pakistani High Commission (HC) on Friday issued visas to 2,850 Sikhs to participate in birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak.
Spokesperson for the commission said that visas have been issued to almost all applicants without any delay. The visas grant Sikhs nine days in Pakistan from November 20 to November 29.
Earlier in the month, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Sidiqul Farooq reviewed security plan for safe celebrations of the birth anniversary. The spokesperson for the board said that senior Sikh leaders, DPOs, DCOs, Rangers and other departments’ representatives attended the meeting. A plan was finalised to provide fool-proof security and reliable arrangements for the visitors.
The visitors will be welcomed today at Wah by ETPB’s Chairman and secretary among other officials. Dozens of Sikhs are also expected to arrive today from different other countries by air. A press release issued earlier stated that the yatrees would leave for Hasan Abdal the same day.
Later on, the visitors will leave for Nankana Sahib on November 22 and they would reach Gurdwara Janam Asthan on November 25. Celebrations of the birth anniversary will be held at Gurdwara Janam Asthan. By November 29 the yatrees will reach Lahore and leave for India and other countries.
Pakistan and India have had a tumultuous journey regarding nationals’ intra-country travel. Earlier in October Samjhota Express was sent back twice from Wahga-Attari border due to ongoing protests in Punjab. Indian farmers had staged protests against the government which could have hurt passengers had the train passed through.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs had summoned Indian acting deputy high commissioner, Raghuram to explain cancellation of the service.