Punjab Minister for Minorities Affairs Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora along with other officials visits Gurdwara Punja Sahib, Hassanabdal, on Monday to review the arrangements in connection with Vaisakhi Mela. — Dawn
Punjab Minister for Minorities Affairs Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora along with other officials visits Gurdwara Punja Sahib, Hassanabdal, on Monday to review the arrangements in connection with Vaisakhi Mela. — Dawn

TAXILA: Punjab Minister for Minorities Affairs and Chairman Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora expressed determination to provide the best facilities to Sikh pilgrims this year while offering rituals in connection with the upcoming Vaisakhi Mela.

Mr Arora expressed this while presiding over a meeting to review the arrangements being made for the Vaisakhi Mela at Gurdwara Punja Sahib Hassanabdal on Monday.

The minister visited the yatrees boarding block, kitchen, and main prayer area to review the security, boarding, lodging, and cleanliness facilities.

He said the pilgrims will be provided free food and medical facilities during their pilgrimage, instructing upon multilayered and foolproof security arrangements for Indian Sikh pilgrims, keeping in view the prevailing law and order situation in the country.

Mr Arora noted that special trains for yatrees would be run to ensure the best travel arrangements, and the visas would be issued under the protocol agreed between Pakistan and India, while the government of Pakistan has approved the schedule for Vaisakhi Mela celebrations in various Sikh temples in Punjab, especially Nankana Sahib and Dera Sahib Lahore.

On this occasion, the Minister apprised Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee local representatives of the problems and suggestions, besides issuing directives to the concerned authorities for early redressal.

Briefing the minister, Deputy Commissioner Rao Atif Raza said that the district administration has finalised a comprehensive plan in collaboration with the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and PSGPC for security, food, and accommodation at the gurdwara for the pilgrims to make their pilgrimage hassle-free.

Mr Rao briefed that around 1,000 police officers and personnel, including six SDPOs, 17 inspectors, 103 upper superintendents, 94 head constables, 667 constables, and 36 lady constables, will be deployed to monitor the security.

Meanwhile, Punjab Home Department Secretary Noor-ul-Amin Mengal visited the Chinese camp in Hattain near Kamra and reviewed the security arrangements for the safety and security of Chinese engineers working on various hydro-power projects.

Mr Mengal instructed the provision of a foolproof security umbrella, especially at the time of their movement, in the wake of the Shangla incident, which killed five Chinese nationals. He also visited the security check posts and directed the personnel to leave no stone unturned in the provision of security to the foreigners.

Assistant Commissioner Dr Sana Ramchand, officials of ETPB, PSGPC, police, and different law enforcement agencies were also present on this occasion.

Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2024

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