10,000 Indian Sikhs to visit Pakistan.

Byline: Mubashir Hassan

LAHORE -- Punjab Governor Punjab Ch Muhammad Sarwar has supported the proposal by Sikh community leaders binding Indian Sikh pilgrims to carry dollars with them instead of Indian rupee.

Concerned federal departments will take a final decision in this regard after analyzing all aspects and implications.

The government hopes to fetch $3 billion revenue every year by promoting religious tourism.

This includes revenue coming from non-Indian Sikhs coming from the European countries, US and Canada.

In a related development, the federal government has decided to issue visas to 10,000 Indians intending to come to Pakistan to participate in 550th birthday celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak. This is undoubtedly a landmark decision taken for the first time in history.

'In past, only 3,000 visas were issued to Sikh pilgrims but we have decided to give 10,000 visas. All state institutions are making unanimous strategy to turn this proposal into reality,' Punjab Governor Ch Sarwar told reporters during his visit to Nankana Sahab.

Ch Sarwar left for Nankana from Lahore on Friday morning to review the arrangements being made to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev, the first Guru of Sikh religion.

It was during this visit that Sikh leaders floated the suggestion that it should be made binding on the Sikh pilgrims from India to carry dollars instead of Indian rupee. The proposed step will be beneficial for Pakistan economy.

Governor said that a final decision will be taken by Adviser on Finance, Hafeez Sheikh after evolving consensus of all concerned departments.

Sarwar in his media talk also disclosed that a record number of one million non-Indian Sikh pilgrims from rest of the world will also be issued visas to enable them visit their religious places in Pakistan.

The 550th birth celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak Dev will start in November this year.

The government is confident that Pakistan side of Kartarpur corridor will be completed before November deadline set for this project.

We will provide fool proof security to all Sikh pilgrims. Punjab government has also set up a Committee headed by Lahore Commissioner to look after Sikh pilgrims, the Governor said.

Sarwar also informed reporters that all projects in Nankana Sahab including renovation of Railway Station will be completed before November this year. The historic...

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