Pakistan to provide three-tier security cover to Sikh Jathas

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New Delhi, Oct.13 (ANI): The Pakistan Government, following a volatile law and order situation in its country, will reportedly provide three-tier security to the Sikh Jatha (group) that is scheduled to visit Pakistan for the Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrations in November.

"Pakistan Government has decided to provide three-tier security cover to the visiting Sikhs during the birth anniversary celebration of Guru Nanak in November this year," said former President of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (PSGPC) Bishan Singh.

"The district police would provide security outside the Gurdwara whereas the task forces of PSGPC and PETPB would organize security arrangement inside the premises and Pakistan Ranger Force would be travelling with the Jatha to guard them during their movement in the Pakistan," added Bishan Singh.

The steadily growing terrorist incidents have become a matter of concern for Pakistan authorities. The Indian authorities are also concerned about the safety and security of visiting groups on religious tours to Pakistan.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (SGPC) the premier Sikh body on several occasions has urged the Pakistan Government to ensure the safety and security of Sikh devotees visiting Pakistan throughout the year in Jathas or, groups.

Only recently, a visiting group of Indian Sikh devotees in Pakistan was asked to cut-short its visit citing law and order situation in that country, particularly after terrorists attacked the Pakistan military headquarters in Islamabad.

The group had gone to Pakistan to participate in the birth anniversary celebration of Guru Ram Das.

Siddique Kharram, a senior official Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board (PETPB) informed ANI over phone from Lahore that since there would be thousands of devotees visiting Pakistan in October last week to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, we need more days to work to make arrangements.

Khurram said that though the Government of Pakistan had been guarding the Sikh Jathas for many years but now the security cover will be strengthened further. However, there is no security threat to the Sikh pilgrimages, he claimed.

The Indian Partition in 1947 set part more than 172 historical Sikh shrines situated in Pakistan from the Sikh community living in India. Hence, every year thousands of Sikh devotees visits Pakistan to pay obeisance in these Gurdwara.

Khurram claimed that the government of Pakistan is concerned about the safe return of the pilgrimages after they paid obeisance in the Sikh shrines situated in Pakistan.

Khuram also appealed to the Sikh Diaspora to visit Nankana Sahib in Pakistan on the occasion of birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November. by Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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