Islamabad, April 14 (IANS) Around 1,500 Indian Sikhs with over 500 from European countries and more than 2,000 Pakistani Hindus and Sikhs are participating in the Baisakhi celebrations that began in Punjab province, the media reported.
Baisakhi is widely celebrated by Sikhs in the province, with festivities centred on Panja Sahib Complex in Hasan Abdal town, Attock district that started on Thursday, Dawn online reported.
This year's festival marks the 319th anniversary of the Khalsa (the Sikh brotherhood). In 1699, Guru Gobind Singh (the last Sikh Gurum) asked his followers to sacrifice their lives for him.
Baisakhi also marks the beginning of a new solar year and harvest season.
At Punja Sahib, most of the pilgrims appeared excited about visiting Pakistan and said they enjoyed their visit to the country more than what they were expecting before reaching here and appreciated the arrangements to make their visit comfortable and for the maintenance of their holy sites, reports Dawn online.
Sikh Yatrees group leader Sardar Balvinder Singh thanked the Pakistan government, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) and the locals for the wonderful welcome and laudable arrangements.
He urged the governments of Pakistan and India to remove visa restrictions on senior citizens and relax some immigration laws to facilitate ordinary citizens of both the countries.
"Pakistan is like a second home to the Sikh community where they used to live," Singh added.