Pakistan issues 2,856 visas to Sikh pilgrims

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has issued 2,856 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to take part in the annual celebrations related to the Baisakhi festival starting from April 9-18.

The Pakistan High Commission wrote on its Twitter handle on Saturday: “On the occasion of Baisakhi, Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi has issued 2,856 visas to Sikh pilgrims who will travel from India to participate in the annual festivities in Pakistan from 09-18 April 2023.” During their pilgrimage, the Sikh yatris will visit Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib.

Sikh and Hindu pilgrims from India visit Pakistan every year, under the provision of a bilateral protocol on travel to religious places. Pakistani pilgrims also visit India every year under the protocol. According to a press release issued by the Pakistani mission in India, the issuance of visas to religious pilgrims from India is in line with Pakistan’s commitment to fully implement the bilateral protocol on travel to religious places between the two countries.

Pakistan’s charge d’affaires Salman Sharif extended warm greetings to the pilgrims and wished them a “complete journey”. He said that Pakistan is committed to protecting the holy shrines and providing necessary facilities to the pilgrims, the statement said. The Sikh pilgrims will enter Pakistan on April 9 (tomorrow) and return to India on April 18, 2023. (INP)