There has been a sharp fall in the number of Sikh pilgrims visiting Pakistan from India and other countries to observe Baisakhi festival in the wake of recent terror attacks in the country. "A total of 375 Sikhs from India and over 100 from Britain, Canada and other countries arrived in Lahore to take part in the festival being held at Panja Sahib in Hasanabdal," Fraz Abbas, Deputy Director (shrines) with the Evacuee Trust Property Board, told PTI.
Abbas said it appeared that recent terror attacks in Lahore had scared away a large number of pilgrims. 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. Officials had yesterday said they were expecting over 1,000 Indian Sikhs.
In the past few weeks, Lahore witnessed an audacious terrorist attack on the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team at a busy traffic roundabout in the heart of the city. Eight persons were killed in the assault.
Terrorists also stormed a police training centre near Lahore last month, killing eight recruits and injuring 90 others.