554th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak celebrated

ATTOCK  -  The 554th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak, the revered founder of Sikhism born in 1469 in Bai Bhoi Di Tilvandi in Sheikhupura, concluded at Gurdwara Siri Punja Sahib Hasanabdal. Over three thousand Sikh pilgrims from India and various other countries participated in the event.

The pilgrims, showing gratitude for the arrangements, expressed satisfaction with their visit. They praised the facilities provided, emphasizing the significance of these sites in their religious practices. The warmth and affection of the Pakistani people continuously draw them back to Pakistan.

Pilgrims arriving from India, the UK, Canada, and other nations conveyed heartfelt appreciation to Pakistan and the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) for the well-organized event. The concluding ceremony, graced by Additional Secretary ETPB Rana Shahid, was held on Thursday morning and witnessed by Caretaker Asmat Ullah Khan.

The celebrations, spanning two days and deeply significant to the Sikh community, encompassed various rituals. These included the Akhand Path, recitation of Guru Granth Sahib, religious discussions, historical lectures, hymn singing, and the sacred Ashnan (holy bath). Additionally, Kirtan Darbars and Amrit Sanchar ceremonies were conducted, followed by serving Prashad (sweet pudding) and communal meals, signifying the spirit of equality among all regardless of caste or creed.

Caretaker Asmat Ullah Khan highlighted that pilgrims received complimentary facilities such as medical aid, meals, and accommodation. Around 400 rooms at the Gurdwara were allocated for their stay, along with additional arrangements considering prevailing weather conditions.

Khushmindar Singh, a leader from the Gurdwara Parbhandak Committee Amritsar, commended the affectionate treatment received by Sikhs in Pakistan. He expressed gratitude towards the Pakistani government and ETPB for maintaining the Gurdwaras and continuously enhancing facilities. He urged India to restore train services to Pakistan, allowing more Sikhs to visit their sacred sites.

Under the leadership of DPO Ghayas Gul, Attock police deployed more than 700 officers to ensure foolproof security arrangements during the celebration.

Pakistan Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee Pradhan Sardar Ameer Singh, expressing his fortune for his family’s decision to remain in Pakistan post-partition, emphasized the need for increased access for Sikhs to visit their revered places in Pakistan.

Expressing satisfaction with the arrangements, departing Sikh pilgrims Nirmat Singh, Andeep Kor, Nirmal Kor, and Jageer Singh appreciated the excellent security provided by Attock police. Jageer Singh reiterated the respect Sikhs hold for Pakistan, acknowledging it as the birthplace of their Guru. The pilgrims expressed a sense of belonging, leaving with heavy hearts despite returning to their own country, as they were deeply touched by the love and care extended to them in Pakistan.

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