ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Sikh pilgrims have arrived at Gurdwara Sri Panja Sahib in Hassanabdal to celebrate the Baisakhi festival. Around 2,000 pilgrims have come from India apart from hundreds of others FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other parts of Punjab. The festivities include recitation from Guru Garanth Sahib.
Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) has made all the arrangements for the pilgrims. Over 1,000 policemen have been deployed to provide security to Gurdwara and the yatrees.
Apart from Gurdwara Panja Sahib, the festival is also celebrated at other gurdwaras in Nanka Sahib and Lahore.
The festival is also celebrated by Hindus and Buddhists for different reasons including the start of a new year. People in the Punjab region regard Besakhi as a harvest festival and the Punjabi new year.
Every year the festival brings together hundreds of Sikh devotees from across the border in a celebration welcoming the spring season. The event helps increase cultural understanding and develop people-to-people ties between the two neighbouring countries.