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Sikh Jatha returns from Pakistan after observing 403rd Martyr's Day
by Ravinder Singh Robin

     Attari (Punjab): After observing 403rd Martyrs Day of Guru Arjan Dev, the 5th master of the Sikhs, the Sikh Jatha (group) of nearly 200 devotees returned at Attari railway station from Pakistan on Wednesday by a special train. The group, during its 10 days stay in Pakistan, visited Nankana sahib, Sacha Sauda, Rohri sahib, Punja Sahib and Gurdara Dera sahib in Lahore. A few members of the group had an opportunity to visit Gurdara Kartarpur sahib situated in Narowal district of Pakistan Punjab. The main function was held at Gurdwara Dera Sahib where nearly 5000 devotees from all over the world assembled to observe the Martyrdom Day of their 5th master. Devotees returning from Pakistan opined that the Government of Pakistan should give country-wide visa so that they could have visited other Gurdwaras in Pakistan. There are more nearly 172 historical Sikh shrines in Pakistan but Pakistan grants specific visa to visit only 5 of them. The devotees demanded that the Heads of the Governments of India and Pakistan should take these issues on their top agendas and facilitate the pilgrimages. Every year thousands of devotees from India visit Pakistan to pay obeisance to their holy shrines. Sikhs considered Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev the first Sikh master, as their Mecca. The devotees have been demanding a corridor to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, which is situate in Pakistan nearly 2.5 kilometres from Dera Baba Nanak, which is on the Indian side.
-June 17, 2009


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