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Baisakhi festival concludes at Pak’s Gurdwara Panja Sahib; over 2K Indian Sikh pilgrims participate

Baisakhi festival concludes at Pak’s Gurdwara Panja Sahib; over 2K Indian Sikh pilgrims participate
April 15
11:03 2019

ISLAMABAD: The three-day annual Baisakhi festival — which was participated by thousands of Sikhs from across the world, including over 2,000 from India — concluded at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hasan Abdal city of Pakistan’s Punjab province on Sunday.
Baisakhi is celebrated to mark the beginning of a new harvest season. Under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974, every year, large number of Sikh pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals and occasions.

A total of 2,206 Sikh pilgrims arrived at Hasan Abdal from India on Friday to attend the festival at the Gurdwara Panja Sahib, even as tensions between the two neighbours remain at fever pitch.
Special security arrangements were made for the pilgrims to ensure law and order.
The Panja Sahib gurdwara at Hasan Abdal, which is about 35 km from Islamabad, has a handprint of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev, on a boulder of the shrine.

Addressing the pilgrims, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam, who was the chief guest at the concluding ceremony titled Bhog Akhand Paath Sahib’, said the Pakistan government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan believed in providing equal rights to all minorities, and cited the example of the country’s decision to open the Kartarpur corridor.
India and Pakistan have agreed to open up a special border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.
The corridor will facilitate the visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur. PTI

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