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(2017-06-28) Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi issued 300 visas to Sikh Yatrees to visit Pakistan for observing religious occasion of Ranjeet Singh’s death anniversary. More then 150 sikhs are waiting at Attari station since early morning. Unfortunately the Indian authorities are not allowing them despite special train arranged by Pakistan to bring them to Pakistan.

Earlier this year, Sikh Yatrees with Pakistani visas, wishing to attend the Jor Mela, were stranded at the Atari station due to “technical reasons” cited by Indian authorities resulting in a large number being unable to attend their religious festivities. Then also Pakistan in an attempt to facilitate the Yatrees had sent a special train to India to bring the Yatrees but it was refused by india.

Facilitation of Religious tourism is a responsibility of the government of India and Pakistan under bilateral agreement between the two countries. It is unfortunate that this has been hampered twice in a short period this year depriving many Sikh Yatrees of the opportunity to participate in their religious festivals. We hope that the government of India will take effective steps to resolve the matter at the earliest.

28 June 2017

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