Lahore—As many as 2,000 sikh yatrees from India arrived at Wagha railway station here on Tuesday by special trains to attend ‘Khalsa Janam Din’ and ‘Besakhi’ festival at Gurdwara Panja Sahib, Hassanabad.
Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) Chairman Muhammad Siddiqul Farooq, Additional Secretary Shrines Khalid Ali, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) Acting Pardhan Sardar Tara Singh, board officials and others warmly welcomed the Sikh yatrees on their arrival at Wagha railway station.
Talking to the media, the ETPB chairman said that arrival of such a large number of yatrees in Pakistan was a proof that peaceful people live in this country. He said that all people belonging to different religions were completely free in this country to spend their lives according to their religious teachings. He said that Pakistan was a very safe country for all minorities.
He said, “We consider all Sikhs one nation, wheather they live in India, the US, the UK, Canada or any other country of the world, and we welcome all followers of Baba Guru Nanak”.
He said that on the directions of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, all facilities including accommodation, medical and travel with security arrangements had been provided to the yatrees. He hoped that yatrees would face no difficulty during their stay.
Group leader Sardar Preetam Singh thanked the Pakistani government for making good arrangements for yatrees. He condemned all terrorist acts in Pakistan including APS Peshawar attack, and expressed sympathies with the victims’ families.
Soon after their arrival at Wagha railway station, the yatrees left for Punja Sahib Hasanabadal. They will stay there for three days (April 12 to 14).
The central ceremony of Besakhi festival will be held there on April 14 where Sikh yatrees will perform their rituals. They will visit Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahab, on April 15 and the next day, they will visit Sucha Sauda, Farooqabad to perform their rituals.
The yatrees will visit Gurdwara Dera Sahib Lahore on April 18. They will visit Kartarpur Narowal on April 19 and return to Lahore on the same day. The yatrees will return to their homeland, India, on April 21.