Pakistani pilgrims set to leave on Monday to attend Hazrat Amir Khusro’s urs in India

LAHORE: After an unannounced, year-long ban, Pakistani pilgrims are all set to travel to India to attend the death anniversary of Hazrat Ameer Khusro on July 2.

All 165 pilgrims, who were provided visas on Thursday, will leave for India via the Samjhota Express on Monday.

The events relating to Hazrat Amir Khusro’s urs had begun on June 28. However, due to the delay in obtaining visas, the Pakistani pilgrims will leave for India tomorrow.

The pilgrims are set to return the following Monday, a week from now.

Due to the unannounced ban on visas, Pakistani pilgrims were unable to attend the death anniversary of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya and Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti this year.

India grants visas to 165 Pakistani pilgrims

An official of Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony had told The Express Tribune on Thursday that the ministry is responsible for providing accommodation to the pilgrims in India, however, the rest of the expenses such as food and transportation will be incurred by the pilgrims themselves.

The official said it is a positive sign and hope that in future India will continue obeying 1974 bilateral agreement signed between both the neighbouring countries for promoting people-to-people contact and religious tourism.

India has not issued visas to Pakistani pilgrims since December last year. Visa refusals began soon after the wife and mother of Indian Spy Kulbushan Jadav, who came to meet him on December 25, returned to India and accused Pakistan of harassing them.

The intending pilgrims will gather in Lahore on Sunday and will leave for India on Monday

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