Fearing a backlash against Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab's execution, the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has demanded adequate protection for Indian pilgrims bound for Pakistan to celebrate Guru Nanak's birth anniversary at Nankana Sahib.
The SGPC-sponsored jatha of 889 pilgrims will leave by special trains from Attari for Lahore on Sunday. After visiting various Sikh shrines in Pakistan, the jatha will return home on December 4.
Expressing concern over the safety of pilgrims following threats by Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) and Pakistani Taliban to avenge Kasab's hanging, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar said on Friday that he had already requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh through his office to take up the security issue with the Pakistani high commissioner in New Delhi.
Makkar said he had also raised the matter with the Indian foreign office and the Pakistan High Commission in Delhi.
"We are aware that the Pakistani government is equally concerned about the security of Sikh pilgrims and has in the past taken special measures for their safety," he added.