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

"We remained in touch with the Indian authorities at the border regarding letting the Pakistani train cross the border to pick the awaiting Sikh yatris but they plainly refused," Amir Hashmi, spokesperson for Evacuee Trust Property Board claimed.

PTI PTI
Lahore Updated on: June 15, 2019 7:22 IST
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Pakistan claims India refused to let its train cross border to bring 200 Sikh pilgrims

Pakistan on Friday claimed that India refused to let its train cross the border and bring some 200 Sikh yatris 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 yatris 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 yatris 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 yatris there was no point in stopping them from coming to Lahore," Hashmi 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. 

Meanwhile, in Amritsar, United Akali Dal General Secretary Paramjit Singh Jijani, who was leading the Sikh group to Pakistan, also claimed that the Indian Railways has refused to give permission to the train from Pakistan to enter the Attari railway station to carry around 130 yatris to Lahore. 

He said the Pakistan embassy had already issued a seven-day visa to all the 130 Sikh members to visit Lahore and some other Sikh shrines in the neighbouring country, including Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. 

However, in the morning the pilgrims were informed at the Attari railway station that there was no permission from the Indian authorities to allow the train, coming from Wagah, to enter the station.

It was a special train to carry Sikh devotees from India, he said.

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