The Times of India – 300 Sikh pilgrims head to Pakistan for Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s death anniversary

Yudhvir Rana

Amritsar-Panjab-India, 25 June 2017. As many as 300 Sikhs will leave for Pakistan to observe the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on June 28 even as Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) cancelled its plan to send the jatha (group of pilgims) to the neighbouring country after the Union government refused to take responsibility for their security.

Bhai Mardana Yadgari Kirtan Darbar Society president Harpal Singh Bhullar told TOI on Saturday that Pakistan high commission had issued more than 300 visas to Sikhs going to Pakistan in jathas sent by various Sikh bodies, including Khalra Mission Committee, Nankana Sahib Sikh Yatree Jatha and Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee besides their society.

He said SGPC should have sent its jatha to Pakistan respecting sentiments of Sikh devotees.

Earlier, in wake deteriorating relations between the two countries, SGPC was informed by the Indian government that the jatha could go to Pakistan at its own risk. To this, president Kirpal Singh Badungar had objected and had demanded that the matter be taken up with the Pakistan government at a diplomatic level.

Meanwhile, according to the programme chalked out by Pakistan’s Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) the bhog of Akhand Path will be performed on June 29 at Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Lahore. The Sikh devotees will also visit other historical Sikh gurdwaras in Pakistan before returning on 7 July.

Bhullar said the Society had demanded from ETPB to allow Sikh devotees to visit memorial of Bhai Mani Singh, situated inside the Lahore fort.


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