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    Wednesday, 28 June 2017

    Sikh pilgrims stopped by India at Attari-Wagah border

    More than 150 Sikhs issued visas by Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi have been stopped by Indian authorities at Attari-Wagah Border, the Foreign Office said on Wednesday.

    The High Commission issued 300 visas to Sikh Yatrees to visit Pakistan for observing the religious occasion of Ranjeet Singh’s death anniversary. However, more then 150 Sikhs are waiting at Attari station since Wednesday morning. Indian authorities have not allowed them to cross the border despite a special train arranged by 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.  On that occasion too, Pakistan had attempted to facilitate the Yatrees by arranging a special train to India.
    “Facilitation of religious tourism is responsibility of the governments of India and Pakistan under bilateral agreement between the two countries. It is unfortunate that this has been hampered twice this year depriving many Sikh Yatrees of the opportunity to participate in their religious festivals”, a Foreign Office press release stated.
    The Foreign Office expressed hope that the Government of India will take effective steps to resolve the matter.
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