The Sikh pilgrims reached here by a special train from India last evening to take part in the festivities. The 156 pilgrims were welcomed by Evacuee Trust Property Board officials and office-bearers of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, ETPB spokesman Amir Hashmi said.

Soon after their arrival, the pilgrims left for Nankana Sahib in the same train. Around 30 railway police commandoes and officials were deputed in the train to ensure security to the Indian pilgrims, officials said.

Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee observes the Sikh Guru's martyrdom day on June 16. During their 10-day stay in Pakistan, the devotees are scheduled to visit and pay obeisance at various Sikh shrines.

The Sikh pilgrims would first visit Nankana Sahib where they would stay till June 11. A day after, they will leave for Gurdwara Punja Sahib at Hassanabdal. On June 13, they will head for Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore where they will perform respective rituals till June 16.

The pilgrims would return to India on June 17. The railways has planned to operate another special train from Sukkur to facilitate Sikhs living in Sindh to participate in the Jore Mela.

Talking to reporters here, a Sikh group leader Sarwar Tana Singh said they are very happy to be here to visit their holy places. He said said the Sikh holy places should be looked after properly.

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