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Pakistan claims India refused to let its train cross border to bring 200 Sikh pilgrims

Lahore: Pakistan on Friday claimed that India refused to let its train cross the border and bring some 200 Sikh yatrees to Lahore for Jore Mela festivities.

“Pakistan had issued visas to some 200 Indian Sikhs to attend the Jore Mela (death anniversary of Guru Arjun Dev jee) and they were due to arrive here by a Pakistani train on Friday. But the Indian government refused to allow the Pakistani train to enter its territory to bring the Sikh yatress here,” Amir Hashmi, spokesperson for Evacuee Trust Property Board, told PTI.

“We remained in touch with the Indian authorities at the border regarding letting the Pakistani train cross the border to pick the awaiting Sikh yatrees but they plainly refused,” Hashmi claimed.

He said the Indian authorities gave no reason for their refusal.

The ETPB is a government department that looks after the affairs and holy places of minorities in Pakistan.

“We have protested the Indian decision. Since the Pakistani High Commission (in Delhi) had issued visas to 200 Sikh yatrees there was no point in stopping them from coming to Lahore,” he said, adding that this issue will be take up with India at the government level.

Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhik Committee (PSGPC) president Tara Singh said the Indian decision has disappointed the Sikh community in Pakistan.

(By M Zulqernain)

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