KARACHI: A delegation of 209 Hindu pilgrims from India, besides thousands of local Hindu community members attended the central ceremony of Shadani Darbar in Mirpur Mathelo on Thursday.
The Hindu pilgrims performed rituals and offered prayers for peace in the region.
Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Secretary Muhammad Tariq Wazir and other officials also attended the ceremony, according to a press release issued here.
Speaking on the occasion, the secretary said that all minorities living in Pakistan were patriotic Pakistanis. He said the board was providing all facilities to Hindu pilgrims under the directions of the federal government.
Hindu leader Youjester Laal thanked Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan and the Ministry for Religious Affairs for the provision of all facilities, renovation, beautification and protection of their worship places.
He said that the board had made the best arrangements including accommodation, transport and security for the pilgrims.
Earlier, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi announced that it has issued visas to more than 220 Hindu pilgrims from India to participate in the 310th birthday celebrations of Shiv Avtari Satguru Sant Shadaram Sahib at Sukkur.
A statement released by the commission says: “The issuance of pilgrimage visas is in line with the Government of Pakistan’s efforts for promoting visits to religious shrines and people-to-people exchanges.”
The visas have been issued to pilgrims from December 5 to 16. Under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974, a large number of Sikh and Hindu pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals every year.
“The move also reflects the Pakistani government’s commitment to faithfully implement the bilateral protocol on visits to religious shrines,” the statement added.
Shadani Darbar Tirth, a 300-year old temple, is a sacred place for devotees across the world. The foundation of Shadani Darbar was laid at Hayat Pitafi Tehsil, Mirpur Mathelo, Ghotki district in 1786 by Sant Shadaram Sahib, who was born in Lahore in 1708.
Earlier on 30 November, more than 3800 Sikh pilgrims returned to India from Pakistan after participating in the 549th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji and the ground-breaking ceremony for the “Kartarpur Corridor” on the Pakistan side of the International Border.