LAHORE, Pakistan—The Indian government today barred more than 200 Sikh devotees from entering Pakistan to mark the 178th death anniversary of Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Notably, Sikh jatha of more than 200 devotees was scheduled to depart for Dehra Sahib (Lahore, Pakistan) today via Attari railway station.
Indian Government refused to grant permission to the Sikh pilgrims citing security concerns even though they had earlier been granted visa and permission to enter Pakistan. Arrangement for visit of these Sikh devotees was made by the DSGMC and the Bhai Mardana Memorial Committee (Ferozepur).
The Delhi based Pakistan High Commission had granted visas for the pilgrimage whilst ensuring robust security arrangements for the jatha. Even the Indian government had told the SGPC that the organizers were free to send pilgrims at their own risk.
In a video statement shared with Sikh24, Pakistan SGPC General Secretary S. Gopal Singh Chawla sharply criticized the Indian government for preventing the Sikh jatha from entering Pakistan. He said that the PSGPC was committed to provide safe journey to the Sikh pilgrims. He added that the Sikh pilgrims had been visiting the sacred Sikh shrine from long time but now the Narendra Modi led Indian government was “playing games” to defame Pakistan.