New Delhi, July 3: 165 Pakistani pilgrims will arrive in New Delhi today to take part in the the urs (death anniversary) of renowned 13th century poet Amir Khusro. All 165 pilgrims, who were provided visas on Thursday, left for India in the Samjhota Express on Monday.
The events relating to Hazrat Amir Khusro's urs had begun on June 28. The pilgrims in will stay in India for a week and return to Pakistan on July 9.
The government had in the recent past refused to issue visas to Pakistan pilgrims because of prevailing tensions between the two countries.
India had in March this year denied visas to more than 500 Pakistani pilgrims, who wanted to visit the shrine of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, saying that such visits could not take place "in view of the prevailing circumstances", reported TOI.
Even for Amir Khusro's Urs, 176 people had applied for visas, but the Indian High Commission granted visas to 165 people.
Pakistan media alleged that India began refusing visas soon after the wife and mother of Kulbushan Jadav, who met him in Islamabad on December 25, returned to India and accused Pakistan of harassing them.
An Express Tribune report quoted a Pakistani offivcial as saying that it is a positive sign and hope that in future India will continue obeying 1974 bilateral agreement signed between both the neighboring countries for promoting people-to-people contact and religious tourism.