* Chairman says 4,000 pilgrims had visited Pakistan last year
* Visitors play role of goodwill ambassadors for Pakistan
HERE COMES THE SPRING, HARVEST AND THE CELEBRATIONS!
by Afnan Khan
The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and all the concerned authorities are set to host the Baisakhi festival with around 8,000 foreign guests, mostly Sikh pilgrims from all over the world. The celebrations will start from first week of April.
The number of foreign guests, mostly from India, will be double this year on orders of board Chairman, Mr. Asif Hashmi, who recently chaired a meeting of high-ups of police and other departments to supervise the preparations for the event.
Hashmi said that such events were essential to promote a soft image of the country across the globe. ETPB has increased the number of pilgrims due to requests by members of the Sikh community.
He further said that the visitors not only appreciated the efforts of Pakistan government for facilitating such a huge event but also played the role of goodwill ambassadors of Pakistan in different parts of the world.
The ETBP chairman informed that around 4,000 pilgrims had visited Pakistan during the last Baisakhi and visitors, mostly from India, US, Canada and Europe, were very happy with the decision of the board. Strict security measures had been taken to ensure foolproof security for the foreign guests, said Hashmi.
He added that the board would provide visitors with the facilities of boarding and lodging along with security and medical treatment in case any of them falls sick during the days-long celebrations.
Thousands of Sikh pilgrims visit Pakistan every year on different events, including Baisakhi, Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary and religious rituals associated with other Sikh gurus and personalities. Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore, a number of temples in Nankana Sahib and Hassan Abdal are primary sites of visit for the Sikh pilgrims from all around the world.
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