Thu Apr 16, 2009
BY M ZULQERNAIN
LAHORE – Hundreds of Sikh pilgrims from India arrived here April 11 to participate in Baisakhi celebrations during which they will also visit the birthplace of founder of their faith Guru Nanak at Nankana Sahib.
During their nine-day stay in Pakistan, the Sikhs will visit Gurdwara Janamsthan at Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore, Gurdwara Saccha Soda in Farooqabad and Gurdwara Rohri Sahib in Aimanabad.
Several pilgrims crossed the border barefoot as a mark of respect for the land where Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, was born. Banners with messages of peace and welcome greeted the pilgrims.
The Pakistan government has for the first time deployed Pakistan Rangers to provide security to the Indian pilgrims because of a series of terror attacks across the country.
Besides Sikhs from India, some 1,000 pilgrims arrived from Europe, Middle East, US, Canada and Afghanistan. A large number of local Sikhs and Hindus also participated in the festival.
Last year, over 4,000 Sikhs from India had attended the festival but the figure is lower this year due to tensions between the two countries in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks. (PTI)