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Biggest jatha of Pak Sikhs arrives
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Mr Parkash Singh Badal welcomes Baba Hari Singh, leader of the Sindhi Sikh Jatha from Pakistan
Mr Parkash Singh Badal welcomes Baba Hari Singh, leader of the Sindhi Sikh Jatha from Pakistan
, at Attari railway station on Friday.   Tribune photo by Rajiv Sharma

Attari, August 27
It was dream come true for most of the Sindhi Sikhs from Pakistan to get a chance to pay their obeisance at Golden Temple for the first time even as the biggest jatha of Pakistani Sikhs (about 1000 pilgrims) arrived here today through a special Samjhauta Express to participate in the quadricentennial celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib late in the evening here today.

The strength of the present Jatha is triple the size of the previous jatha which visited Amritsar and Anandpur Sahib during the tercentenary celebrations of the birth of Khalsa Panth . They said the historic pilgrimage was possible due to the improved relations between India and Pakistan. The government of India had showed magnanimity in granting visas in a bulk.

The Jatha was led by Guru Granth Sahib which they brought with them from Pakistan.

Among the prominent leaders who arrived from Pakistan included Mr Hari Singh, the Jatha leader, Mr Tara Singh and Mr Raushan Singh.

They were given a warm welcome at the Attari Railway Station by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president, Shiromani Akali Dal, Bibi Jagir Kaur, a former SGPC chief, Mr Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke, acting president, SGPC, Mr Dalmeg Singh, Secretary SGPC, Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike, a former Akali minister and Mr Rajmohinder Singh Majithia, a Rajya Sabha member. This is for the first time that so many SAD, SGPC leaders went to Attari to receive the jatha from Pakistan.

Many elderly Pakistani Sikhs who had witnessed the holocaust of partition and suffered the most in the communal frenzy that followed said that after visiting the holy city of Amritsar that too during the quadricentennial celebrations they could now die as satisfied souls. They said both the neighboring countries should relax visa restrictions which would help in strengthening relations, apart from improving bilateral trade.
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Special train for pilgrims on Sept 2
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, August 27
The Northern Railway will introduce a special train from Amritsar to New Delhi on September 2 to facilitate the pilgrims returning after attending quadricentennial celebrations of the installation of Guru Granth Sahib.

Railway sources said the special train would leave Amritsar at 1.30 pm on September 2. The sources said the train running between Amritsar and Assansol had been extended up to Sialdah and the train would be named as Akal Takht Express from October 3.
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Amritsar schools, colleges closed
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, August 27
All educational institutions, private and government, as well as polytechniques, ITIs etc falling within the municipal corporation limits would remain closed from August 28 to September 2 in view of the quadricentennial celebrations of Guru Granth Sahib. This was announced by Mr Raminder Singh, Deputy Commissioner, here today.

The district administration has also announced August 30 to September 1 as dry days. The sale or purchase of liquor has been banned during these days.
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