Indian Sikh pilgrim goes missing in Pakistan

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Indian Sikh pilgrim goes missing in Pakistan

Sources in the Indian government have told India Today that the Indian mission in Pakistan is in touch with the Pakistani authorities.

An Indian pilgrim, Amarjit Singh, part of the group of Sikh pilgrims who had gone for on a pilgrimage to Panja Singh Gurudwara in Pakistan, has gone missing.

Initial information of the 23-year old having gone missing came when the nodal agency handling the pilgrimage, Pakistan Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), intimated authorities that one of the "Indian pilgrims" had not collected his passport.

A jatha of around 1,800 Sikh yatris had been in Pakistan from April 12, under a bilateral agreement facilitating visits to religious shrines. The entire "Jatha" was to return on Saturday.

Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Dr. Faisal confirmed the news and said, "we actively are looking for him".

Sources in the Indian government have told India Today that the Indian mission in Pakistan is in touch with the Pakistani authorities.

This is the second case of an Indian having stayed back in Pakistan. On Thursday, a Sikh woman from Punjab's Hoshiarpur district, Kiran Bala (31), went to Pakistan on the same pilgrimage and refused to return. She embraced Islam and married a Lahore-based Pakistani man.

India Today got in touch with the brother of Amarjit Singh who said that they hadn't heard from him since he left for Pakistan. Prabjyot Singh, the younger brother of Amarjit said, "I thought he will return after ten days once his visa gets over. He is my elder brother. He left for Pakistan on the 12th of April. He said he wanted to go to Panja Sahib, pay respects and return. He had gone to work in Malaysia for four-five months and returned to home and was helping in the farm. We had no no contact with him since he left. We just learnt that he has gone missing."

Incidents such as this are always a security hazard and a huge worry for the agencies. Indian authorities will be looking into Amarjit Singh's travel details. The fact that he had travelled to Malaysia just before going to Pakistan has already been red-flagged with the security agencies.

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