The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on Thursday claimed that in November and December, it issued visas to two groups of Indian Hindu pilgrims for visit to their religious sites in Pakistan.

A group of 57 Indian pilgrims has already returned from Pakistan where it participated in the 311th birth anniversary celebrations of Shiv Avtari Satguru Sant Shadaram Sahib, at Sukkur, Sindh from 24 November – 5 December.

A second group of 88 Indian Hindu pilgrims was issued visas on Wednesday for visit to Shree Katas Raj Temples, also known as Qila Katas or complex of Katas Temples in Chakwal district of Punjab from 13 – 19 December. Katas Raj temples surround a pond which is considered sacred by Hindus.

The Pakistani mission said under the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974, a large number of Sikh and Hindu pilgrims from India visit Pakistan to observe various religious festivals/occasions every year. The visas issued by the Pakistan High Commission are in addition to the visas issued to Sikh and Hindu pilgrims participating in these events from other countries.

The issuance of pilgrimage visas to Sikh and Hindu pilgrims is in line with the Government of Pakistan’s efforts for facilitating visits to religious shrines.