Sikh jatha from India celebrates Baisakhi at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Pakistan
An 818-member Sikh jatha from India celebrated the Khalsa Foundation Day on the occasion of Baisakhi at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Pakistan’s Hasan Abdal city on Wednesday.
The batch of pilgrims, which crossed over to the neighbouring country via the Attari-Wagah border on Monday, remained stuck at Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore over security concerns.
The jatha reached Gurdwara Panja Sahib on Tuesday night, where the main function was scheduled to be held on Wednesday.
“We celebrate Baisakhi on April 14 every year. On Tuesday, the bhog ceremony of akhand path (non-stop continuous reading of the Guru Granth Sahib) was performed. Then the guests from India and other countries were honoured. The jatha will leave for Nankana Sahib late Wednesday evening,” said Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) president Satwant Singh on phone.
The PSGPC and the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) officials have made all arrangements for travelling, accommodation, langar, security of the pilgrims, he said. “The jatha will stay in Nankana Sahib for two days. A one night stay at the Kartarpur Sahib has also been arranged for the pilgrims for the first time,” he added.
After visiting the local gurdwaras at Nankana Sahib on Thursday, the jatha will go to Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Sheikhupura, the next day, Gurdwara Dehra Sahib in Lahore on April 17 and 18, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on April 19.
The pilgrims will then visit Gurdwara Rori Sahib and Gurdwara Dehra Sahib, Lahore on April 20 and 21, and then will return home the next day.
The pilgrims were stranded at Lahore after violence erupted between the followers of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan chief Saad Hussain Rizvi and the police in Lahore on Tuesday morning. They were apprehensive that they wouldn’t be able to reach Gurdwara Panja Sahib to celebrate Baisakhi.