Security arrangements for Sikh pilgrims reviewed

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STAFF REPORT

RAWALPINDI

Regional Police Officer (RPO) Rawalpindi Region Ahmed Ishaq Jahangir visited Gurdawara Punja Sahib at Hassanabdal and reviewed security arrangements for Sikh pilgrims during the upcoming festival.

In a statement issued here on Saturday, he expressed satisfaction over security arrangements and directed concerned to further enhance the security to avoid any untoward incident.

RPO assured that protection of worship places is the top most priority of police department adding that Sikh pilgrims are welcomed to come to Gurdawara Pujba Sahib.

All out efforts are being made to provide foolproof security to the Sikh pilgrims, as they are our worthy guests, he added.

Earlier, DPO Attock Syed Nadeem Bukhari briefed the RPO about the security plan for Sikh pilgrims.

As many as 1100 well equipped cops of Rawalpindi police would be deployed at Gurdawara Punja Sahib in Hassanabadal.

Meanwhile, Baisakhi celebrations continued on the second day at Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassan Abdal.

Sikh community from across the world, including Pakistan, India, Canada, the United Kingdom, is participating in the festivities.

Baisakhi processions called Nagar Keertan were taken out in the premises of Gurdwara Punja Sahib with traditional performances and religious rites.

Spokesperson Evacuee Trust Board Amir Hashmi said about ten thousand Sikh yartrees from Pakistan, India, and other countries are attending the festival. He said about 2,000 Yatrees have arrived from India.

He said on the special directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Minister for Religious Affairs Dr Noor-ul-Haq Qadri ETB is taking special care of the Sikh Yatrees. He said Pakistan is a peace loving country, where all minorities live with utmost harmony and cordiality. He said to ensure security of the visiting guests, foolproof security arrangements have been made in and around the Gurdwara. He said the ETB is also providing food, boarding, travel, and medical facilities to the Yatrees.

Amir Hashmi said final and concluding ceremony of the Baisakhi festival will be held at Punja Sahib tomorrow to celebrate advent of order of the Khalsa by 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh Ji. The Khalsa Panth was founded in Anandpur Sahib in 1699.

Besides religious importance, Baisakhi has cultural and traditional significance. People of Punjab thank God for good harvest and it marks the harvesting season of golden crop wheat.

Dressed in traditional attire men and women move towards the fields to celebrate the occasion.

Major attractions of Baisakhi Fairs are the bhangra and gidda performances besides wrestling bouts, singing and acrobatics. Performance of folk instruments – vanjli and algoza is also quite popular.

Food stalls and shops selling trinkets make Baisakhi Melas even more joyful.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has welcomed Sikh pilgrims who are in Pakistan to participate in the annual celebrations of Baisakhi festival.

In a statement, he said efforts have been made to provide best facilities to the Sikh pilgrims to enable them to carry out their rituals in peaceful and comfortable environment.

He said the incumbent government has taken a number of measures to open the Kartarpur Corridor in order to facilitate the Sikh community.