SGPC seeks security for Pakistan-bound pilgrims

March 4th, 2009 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Amritsar, March 4 (IANS) The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the politico-religious body of the Sikhs, Wednesday said it had asked the union government and the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi to ensure security for pilgrims visiting Sikh shrines in the neighbouring country.
The SGPC request comes a day after the attack by terrorists on the Sri Lankan cricket team in a busy area of Lahore city, 50 km from here.

Top SGPC functionaries indicated that if foolproof security was not ensured for the pilgrims, it might consider withdrawing the trips this year in view of the worsening security situation in Pakistan.

The SGPC sends hundreds of people to Pakistan annually for pilgrimages to various Sikh shrines, including Nankana Sahib - the birth place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.

The next batch of SGPC pilgrims (jathas) is expected to go to Pakistan for Baisakhi (April 13).

SGPC President Avtar Singh Makkar said here that they had written to the central government and the Pakistan High Commission to ensure security for Sikh pilgrims.

“We have taken this issue up with both. If security is not ensured, we can think on not sending any jatha,” Makkar said.

He said the SGPC was concerned about the safety of pilgrims after Tuesday’s attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.

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