Amid increased violence in Pakistan, India is concerned about Indian Sikh pilgrims in the country for Baisakhi celebrations.
Top sources in Delhi have told WION that the Indian government is continuously monitoring the situation and is in touch with Pakistani authorities for the safety and well-being of its citizens.
Two people have died in Pakistan after massive protests in the backdrop of Pakistani authorities detaining Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Saad Hussain Rizvi. TLP Chief has been detained ahead of the April 20 deadline to implement group demands, which includes expelling of French envoy, cutting ties with France.
Currently, around 900 Indian Sikh pilgrims are in Pakistan who will go to Panja Sahib Gurdwara for Baisakhi celebrations. Due to protests in Pakistan, they were taken to Gurdwara in Lahore. Pakistan authorities have rescheduled their visits.
Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (or PSGPC)’s Satwant Singh speaking to WION said, “Security arrangements are being reviewed by the authorities..arrangements being made to facilitate the Jatha”.
As per the schedule prepared earlier, they were to reach Panja Sahib on April 12 to April 14 to celebrate Baisakhi. But now authorities rescheduling the itinerary.
The journey from Lahore to Punjab sahib is approximately six hours away by road, but the main roads are closed as of now due to violence.
High Commission for Pakistan in India had issued over 1100 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations from 12-22 April.
Under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974, a large number of Sikh Yatrees from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals/occasions every year.