Govt Gets Ready to Host 20,000 Sikh Pilgrims

October 31, 2006

Source: Gulf Times

LAHORE: About 20,000 Sikh pilgrims are expected to arrive in Nankana Sahib town - the birthplace of Sikh religion's founder, in Pakistan for the three-day celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev's 538th birth anniversary to begin on November 2. The Nankana Sahib district administration has devised a security plan and is making arrangements for board and lodging for the pilgrims following recommendations by the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC).

Bazaars have been decorated and special stalls are being set up to feature traditional food and apparel and books and cassettes on Punjabi poetry and Sikh religion.

About 4,000 pilgrims are expected to arrive from India and 2,500 from Canada, the US and England. The first delegation of 150 pilgrims including some from India arrived over the weekend and was received by the PSGPC President Sardar Bishan Singh. Another delegation of 35 pilgrims from Dubai has also reached Lahore.

Evacuee Property Trust Board and the Sheikhupura administration have made arrangements to receive the pilgrims. The PSGPC president said Sikhs held special prayers and processions to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

Devotees thronged Gurdwaras (Sikh temples) to hear hymns from Guru Granth Sahib (Sikh holy book) and participate in the three-day festivities to honour their spiritual leader, he said. "Sikhs vow to promote peace, friendship and love on the day," he said, "in line with Guru Nanak's teachings."