Visiting Sikh delegation to cut short its religious trip to Pakistan

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New Delhi, Oct. 11, (ANI): Pakistan authorities have reportedly asked a visiting group of Sikh devotees to cut-short its visit and pre-pone its return to India on Monday.

The Sikh Jatha of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), comprising nearly 70 devotees had left for Pakistan on October 8 to celebrate the 475th birth anniversary of Guru Ram Das. It was scheduled to return on Thursday (Oct.15).

The group was scheduled to return after attending the main function at Gurudwara Chuna Mandi in Lahore and other five historical Gurudwaras on Thursday.

"It is true that for the last few years the Pakistan has been facing internal security threats but the Government of Pakistan provided the Prime Minister level security to the Indian Sikh pilgrims during their visit to Pakistan," Bishan Singh, acting President of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (PSGPC) told ANI over phone from Lahore.

Singh said that a high-level squad was provided comprising 10 pilot and escort vehicles to the Sikh Jatha. Besides the police jawans also accompanied the group.

Singh further said since no special train was available on October 15 that's why the Jatha was requested to leave tomorrow from Samjhauta Express train.

"We are demanding from the Government of Pakistan the security and safety of the Sikh jatha and Sikh shrines in Pakistan," said Joginder Singh, Secretary of the Shri Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) in Amritsar.

Pakistan authorities granted 15 days pilgrimage visa to the Sikh devotees but the group was asked to leave the country after their four-day stay.

Dr. Gurbachan Singh Bachchan, former SGPC Secretary, has expressed concern about the security and safe return of the group from Pakistan.

In November, about 5,000 Sikh devotees are to visit Pakistan on the occasion of Guru Nanak Birthday and the SGPC has expressed concern about the group's security after the latest orders of the Pakistan authorities. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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