Pakistan issues visas to more than 1,100 Indian pilgrims

Pakistan has issued visas to more than 1,100 Indian Sikh pilgrims to participate in the annual Baisakhi celebrations during 12–22 April.

The Pakistan High Commission said on Wednesday that the visa was issued as a special gesture on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, noting the importance of Baisakhi for Punjabis and Sikhs.

The move comes amid tensions arising between bilateral relations when Indian and Pakistani militants began following a ceasefire along the Line of Control (2003) in Jammu and Kashmir in February.

The government of Pakistan recently postponed a move to import cotton and sugar from India to control prices and overcome domestic shortages after facing opposition from some federal ministers.

The Pakistan High Commission specially honored the people celebrating Baisakhi and hoped that the pilgrims to come would complete the yatra.

Every year a large number of Sikh pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to visit various religious festivals and occasions, under the framework of the Indo-Pakistan Protocol on 1974 pilgrimage visits.

The High Commission said that the issuance of pilgrimage visas is part of the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to facilitate visits to religious shrines.

It also reflects the commitment of the Government of Pakistan to faithfully implement the bilateral protocol on visits to religious shrines.

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