The first batch of Sikh Jathas left for Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Pakistan for Baisakhi celebrations on Friday. Around 839 Sikh devotes led by Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee boarded a special train to Pakistan today.
During the visit, the pilgrims would also be visiting shrines Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib. On Tuesday, Pakistan had granted 2,200 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India to participate in Baisakhi celebrations from April 12 to 21.
It will be the first Sikh Jatha to go to Pakistan after the Indian Air Force airstrike on Jaish-e-Mohammed's advance training camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Balakot area in Pakistan. The Balakot operation was following the Pulwama terror strike which was claimed by Pakistan based JeM. The terror act and the subsequent airstrike resulted in heightened tensions between the two countries.