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Pak Rangers to protect 300 Indian Sikhs

world Updated: Jun 12, 2010 18:18 IST

Paramilitary Pakistan Rangers have been deployed to protect about 300 Indian Sikhs who will participate in the Jore Mela at Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore.

The Indian Sikhs, who arrived in Pakistan over the past few days, have travelled to Gurdawa Punja Sahib at Hasanabdal near Rawalpindi.

They will reach Lahore on Monday to take part in the three-day festival.

"Keeping in view the law and order situation, we have deployed Pakistan Rangers and police for the security of the visiting yatris," Syed Asif Hashmi, chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board that organises such pilgrimages, told PTI.

After the recent attack on the minority Ahmedi community in Lahore that left 95 people dead, the government has beefed up security at all places of worship of minority communities.

"We have not only taken measures for the security of Sikh and Hindu pilgrims from abroad but also enhanced security for locals," Hashmi said.

No leniency could be afforded in this matter, he said.

The head of the Indian delegation, Sardar Raghubir Singh, told reporters that misunderstandings could crop up between India and Pakistan but they could be resolved through talks.

He said both governments should take all possible steps to bring the people of India and Pakistan closer as this is the only way to resolve problems.

Singh appreciated the steps taken by the ETPB for the upkeep of gurdwaras in Pakistan. He also asked it to provide land and residences at Gurdwara Dera Sahib.

The Indian Sikhs will return home on June 17.