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Sikh pilgrim Janger Singh from Patiala dies in Lahore due to a heart attack

LAHORE: An Indian Sikh pilgrim Janger Singh, aged 67, hailing from Patiala, passed away in Lahore due to a heart attack on Monday morning while on a spiritual journey in Pakistan.

Singh, who had embarked on the pilgrimage to Pakistan, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in Lahore. Despite receiving immediate medical attention, he couldn’t survive.

Rana Shahid Saleem, the additional secretary (shrines), confirmed that Singh received prompt medical aid but succumbed to the severity of the cardiac arrest. He also assured that all Indian pilgrims who fell ill were provided with necessary medical assistance.

In response to the situation, arrangements for repatriating Singh’s remains to his hometown in Patiala have been swiftly organized.

Notably, the lively and cheerful three-day Baisakhi celebrations, a significant religious event for the Sikh community, have come to an end in Hasan Abdal.

Over a period of three days, thousands of pilgrims from diverse regions across the world, including approximately 2,700 Sikh devotees from India, gathered at Gurdwara Panja Sahib to engage in sacred ceremonies and celebrations.

Sikh devotees participated in prayers and shared meals (langar) at Gurdwara Panja Sahib. In addition to these activities, they also carried out the ashnan ritual, where numerous pilgrims immerse in the holy water within the gurdwara premises.

Displaying contentment with the government’s organization, the visitors praised the hospitable atmosphere and warmth they experienced throughout their stay. One of them joyfully commented, “We are thoroughly enjoying the Baisakhi festival. It feels great to be here.”

A person expressed their wish for mutual visits, saying, “It is hoped that individuals from Pakistan will also travel to India to visit their sacred sites and maintain this affection.” In an act of kindness and unity, Pakistan’s Federal Defence Minister, Khawaja Asif, attended the primary Baisakhi festival celebration as a distinguished guest.

In his speech to the audience, he highlighted the importance of welcoming international pilgrims and reaffirmed Pakistan’s dedication to safeguarding the rights and security of minority groups. He expressed, “We take great pride in hosting over 35,000 foreign pilgrims, and our efforts are focused on offering the best protection and amenities for the Sikh community.”

Emphasizing Pakistan’s image as a harmonious and accommodating nation, Asif referred to the presence of Sikh pilgrims from India as evidence of the country’s dedication to religious tolerance. He asserted, “Pakistan is a peaceful land where minority rights are upheld. This is demonstrated by the fact that Sikh pilgrims traveled from various parts of the globe, including India. They were able to practice their faith openly and freely within our borders.”

As the three-day Baisakhi festival came to an end, preparations were made for approximately 2,700 Indian Sikh pilgrims to depart from Hasan Abdal to Lahore using special trains. This event beautifully highlighted the enduring ties of religion and brotherhood that surpass borders, bringing together followers in a unified celebration of spirituality and cultural heritage.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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