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HindustanTimes Sun,31 Aug 2014

300 Sikh pilgrims visit Pakistan

PTI  Lahore, June 09, 2014
First Published: 13:48 IST(9/6/2014) | Last Updated: 13:57 IST(9/6/2014)

More than 300 Sikh pilgrims from India arrived here on Sunday to attend the Jor Mela celebrations dedicated to Guru Arjan Dev, fifth of the 10 Sikh Gurus.

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The officials of Evacuee Trust Property Board and Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee greeted them at the Wagah border. The visit comes days after Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited New Delhi to attend his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.

ETPB deputy director Fraz Abbas told PTI that nearly 300 Sikh pilgrims had to travel by foot up to Wagah, as the Indian authorities had refused to send them over by a Pakistani train because of what appeared to be a security issue.

Gul Charan Singh, leader of a pilgrim group, told reporters that his batch had to cross over to the Wagah by foot in scorching heat but warm welcome on the other side had made them forget the harsh weather.During the 10-day stay in Pakistan, the pilgrims will visit holy places, including Gurdawara Janamesthan in Nankana Sahib, 80 kilometres from Lahore.

Pilgrim Harbair Singh said that both Modi and Sharif should work for peace in the region and extensive trade between the two countries.

The main Jor Mela celebrations function will be at Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore on June 16. The pilgrims will return on June 17.

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