HINDUS, SIKHS CELEBRATE VAISAKHI IN PAKISTAN

Sikh devotees taking a selfie during the Baisakhi festival at the holy temple of Panja Sahib in Hassan Abdal, Pakistan April 14, 2017. Photo: REUTERS
Sikh devotees taking a selfie during the Baisakhi festival at the holy temple of Panja Sahib in Hassan Abdal, Pakistan April 14, 2017. Photo: REUTERS

More than 1,400 Sikhs from India on Friday celebrated the Baisakhi Festival in Hassan Abdal, a town in Pakistan’s Punjab province, famous for one of the most sacred sites of Sikhism.

The officials of Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandik Committee also took part in the festivities.

ETPB Chairman Siddiqul Farooq inaugurated the festival. Speaking on the occasion he said the board would continue facilitating the visiting Yatrees.

He said the ETPB is establishing the Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib and Ghandara University in Taxila.

“The federal Higher Education Commission has allocated Rs 1bn for each project and construction work will soon begin,” he said and reiterated that the people of both countries want peace.

Baisakhi is an ancient festival dating back to the 17th century, also marks the beginning of a new solar year and harvest season. It is one of the most significant holidays in the Sikh calendar, commemorating the establishment of the Khalsa at Anandpur Sahib in 1699 by the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh.

Devotees at Panja Sahib.
Devotees at Panja Sahib.#

To mark the celebrations, devotees, irrespective of Sikh religion, throng at Gurdwara Punja Sahib Hassan Abdal. The celebrations start when devotees with flowers and offerings in their hands, proceed towards the Gurdawaras and temples before dawn.

The Indian Sikhs visited Gurdwara Janamesthan Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Sacha Soda in Farooqabad, Gurdawara Kartarpur Narowal and Gurdwara Dera Sahib Lahore.

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