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Sikh pilgrims arriving today for Baisakhi

April 10, 2013

TAXILA, April 9: Almost 3,000 Sikh pilgrims from India are expected to arrive at Gurdwara Punja Sahib, Hassanabdal on Wednesday to celebrate the Sikh baptism ceremony, Baisakhi, also known as the harvest festival.

Baisakhi marks the New Year in Sikhism, and corresponds to April 11 of the Georgian Calendar.

Talking to newsmen here on Tuesday, Deputy Secretary Shrines Syed Faraz Abbas said the yatrees (pilgrims) would reach Wagha Border on April 10 and then proceed to Punja Sahib.

He added that the yatrees would visit the Gurdwaras (shrines) in Hassanabdal, Nankana Sahib and Lahore during their 10-day stay in Pakistan.

The pilgrims would remain in Hassanabdal till April 13, from where they would go to Sacha Soda, Farooqabad and then leave for Lahore on April 16.

Mr Abbas said a total of six thousand Sikh pilgrims would participate in the three-day festival, and adequate arrangements for the boarding and lodging of all participants would be ensured.

The Sikh pilgrims coming from India and other countries would be provided accommodation within the premises of the temples, while the Pakistani Sikh and Hindu pilgrims would stay in the government schools located near the temple.

He said the renovation of the temples had been completed and security would be provided to the yatrees.

Hindu yatrees living in various parts of country have already started arriving at Hassanabdal, including from Peshawar, Swat, Larkana, Sukkur, Karachi and Lahore. —Correspondent