Pakistani authorities have so far failed to make any headway in the mysterious disappearance of a four-member Sikh family from India who went missing during their trip to the country to celebrate Baisakhi.
The first-ever incident of its kind, which prompted authorities to launch a thorough search operation, came to light when around 2,000 Sikh pilgrims, including 1,717 Indians, visited Pakistan on a 10-day trip to celebrate Baisakhi festival earlier this month.
The missing people were identified as Sunil Singh, 38, his wife Sunita, 27, and their children, daughter Huma Kaur, 9, and son Umer Singh, 10.
They had come here from Indian village Sandhawala in Faridkot on April 11. They were reported missing on April 20 when they did not turn up at Wagah Border to return to India.
Their visa expired on April 20."The Indian Sikh family probably had gone missing on April 17 in Nankana Sahib as they were last seen there (Gurdwara Janamesthan)," Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Deputy Director Fraz Abbas told PTI on Sunday.
He said over 17,00 Indian Sikhs, who arrived here on April 11 for Baisakhi festival held at Gurdwara Panja Sahib Hasan Abdal, some 250 km from here, visited Gurdwara Janamesthan in Nankana Sahib on April 17.
They left for Lahore's Gurdwara Dera Sahib near the Lahore Fort before their departure back home on April 20.
"The Sunil Singh's family was last seen in Nankana Sahib.However, the ETPB came to know about the missing of the Sikh family when they did not turn up along with the other pilgrims at Wagah to collect the passports," he said.
ETPB is responsible to look after the minority holy places in the country, besides arranging accommodation and security for Sikh and Hindu pilgrims and their safe return."ETPB Chairman Saddiqul Farooq has been monitoring the efforts on daily basis.
This is the first incident in which a visiting Sikh family has gone missing," Abbas said, adding that the security agencies are investigating the case from all aspects and hopefully would trace them soon.When asked about the possibility of kidnapping, Abbas said, "We are also looking into this aspect. However, no call has been received in this regard from any one."