Over 1300 Sikh yatrees from India arrived here on Wednesday via Wagha Railway Station by special trains to attend the 319th ‘Khalsa Janam Din’ and ‘Besakhi’ festival at Gurdwara Punja Sahib, Hassanabad.
Evacuee Property Trust Board (EPTB) Chairman Muhammad Siddiqul Farooq, Additional Secretary Shrines Muhammad Tariq, Sardar Tara Singh and other officials warmly welcomed the Sikh yatrees on their arrival at Wagha railway station on behalf of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Punjab chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.
Talking to the media, the ETPB Chairman said that special security, stay and food arrangements had been made for sikh yatrees. He said the security of gurdwaras in Pakistan had been enstrusted to Rangers. He said that religion and country could be different but all humans were one under humanity.
He said that Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib and Ghandara University in Taxila had been constructed for which the Higher Education Commission had allocated Rs 1 billion each.
“Space for Guru Nanak University office has been obtained in Eidhi Complex, Islamabad,” he added.
To a question, he said that Pakistani people wanted good relations with Indians and prayed for reduction in current tension between both the nations.
Sikh Yatrees group leader Sardar Balvinder Singh thanked the Pakistani Government, ETPB and the nation for wonderful welcome and laudable arrangements for the yatrees.
Soon after their arrival, the yatrees left for Punja Sahib Hasanabadal where they will stay for three days.
The central ceremony of Besakhi festival will be held there on April 14, where Sikh yatrees will perform their rituals. Federal Minister Sardar Muhammad Yousaf and ETPB Chairman Muhammad Siddiqul Farooq will be chief guest on the occasion. They will visit Janam Asthan, Nankana Sahab, on April 15 and the next day, they will visit Sucha Sauda, Farooqabad to perform their rituals.