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sikh pilgrims

India refused to let Pakistan’s train cross the border and bring 200 Sikh pilgrims to Lahore for Shaheedi Jor Mela festivities, claimed Pakistan on Friday.

According to Sikhism, the event is called Shaheedi Purab of Guru Arjan Dev (the death anniversary of fifth Sikh Guru Arjan Dev) or Shahdi Jor Mela.

“Pakistan had issued visas to some 200 Indian Sikhs to attend the Jore Mela (death anniversary of Guru Arjun Dev jee) and they were due to arrive here by a Pakistani train on Friday. But the Indian government refused to allow the Pakistani train to enter its territory to bring the Sikh yatress (pilgrims) here,” said a spokesperson for Evacuee Trust Property Board, a government department that looks after the affairs and holy places of minorities in Pakistan.

The spokesperson claimed, “We remained in touch with the Indian authorities at the border regarding letting the Pakistani train cross the border to pick the awaiting Sikh yatrees (pilgrims) but they plainly refused.”

The Indian authorities, however, gave no reason for the refusal, said the spokesperson.

“We have protested the Indian decision. Since the Pakistani High Commission (in Delhi) had issued visas to 200 Sikh yatrees (pilgrims) there was no point in stopping them from coming to Lahore,” ETPB’s spokesperson said, adding that this issue would be taken up with India at the government level.

Tara Singh, president of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhik Committee (PSGPC) said that the Indian decision has disappointed the Sikh community in Pakistan.

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