Over 800 Indian Sikhs, whose journey to Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Pakistan to attend the Baisakhi festival was affected due to the road blockades imposed by the supporters of a radical Islamist party, finally reached their destination in Rawalpindi on Wednesday.
The Indian pilgrims had reached Lahore via the Wagah border on Monday to attend the festival.
But their journey was affected by the road blockade by supporters of Tehreek-i-Labaik Pakistan (TLP) demanding the expulsion of the French envoy over the publication of blasphemous caricatures in France.
On Tuesday afternoon, the visiting Indian Sikhs left for Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hassanabdal in 25 buses which were escorted by the police and the Rangers.
“Owing to the TLP protest that blocked roads, the Sikh yatrees reached Hassanabdal at 4 am on Wednesday after over 14 hours of journey which otherwise is covered in three hours,” an official of the Punjab government told PTI.
They attended the main event on Wednesday in which several local Sikhs also participated.
The Indian Sikhs are scheduled to visit other holy places in the Punjab province of Pakistan during their 10-day stay in the country. The TLP, which bagged 2.5 million votes in the 2018 general elections, blocked the roads across the country following the arrest of Saad Rizvi, son of Khadim Hussain Rizvi who died a few months ago.