‘Special gesture’ – Pakistan issues visas to over 1,100 Sikh pilgrims for Baisakhi festival

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Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has issued visas to more than 1,100 Sikh pilgrims from India to participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations from April 12 to 22.

“These visas have been issued as a ‘special gesture’ by the government of Pakistan in view of the importance of Baisakhi for Punjabis and Sikhs marking the start of their new year. Pakistan High Commission extends special felicitations to all those celebrating this auspicious occasion and wishes the visiting pilgrims a fulfilling yatra,” the Pakistani mission said in a statement.

“The issuance of pilgrimage visas is a part of the government of Pakistan’s efforts for facilitating visits to religious shrines. This also reflects the commitment of the government of Pakistan to faithfully implement the bilateral protocol on visits to religious shrines,” it added.

The celebrations of the festival are scheduled to begin from April 12 in Pakistan.

Earlier, reports claimed Baisakhi festival has been cancelled amid third wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

COVID-19 Situation in Pakistan

The federal and provincial governments have tightened the restrictions in order to control the spread of the virus in the country.

At least 102 people died due to the the novel coronavirus infection while 4,004 fresh cases have reported in the last 24 hours, National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) said Wednesday.

According to the latest figures, the death toll has reached 15,026 while the number of confirmed cases stands at 700,188.

In the past 24 hours, as many as 2,631 patients have recovered from the deadly virus while the total recoveries surged to 620,789.

The total count of active cases was recorded at 64,373.

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