The High Commission of Pakistan in India today said it has issued over 1100 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to participate in the annual ‘Baisakhi’ celebrations from 12-22 April.

The development comes amid attempts at reconciliation between India and Pakistan.

These visas have been issued as a “special gesture” by the government of Pakistan in view of the importance of ‘Baisakhi’ for Punjabis and Sikhs marking the start of their new year, the high commission said.

Under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974, a large number of Sikh pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals/occasions every year.

In a Press release, the high commission said the issuance of pilgrimage visas is a part of the government efforts for facilitating visits to religious shrines.

“This also reflects the commitment of the government of Pakistan to faithfully implement the bilateral protocol on visits to religious shrines. Pakistan takes pride in preserving sacred religious places and extending all possible facilitation for the visiting pilgrims of all faiths,” it added.