News 15 april — 16:00

Indian Sikhs celebrate Baisakhi at shrine in Pakistan


Hundreds of Indian Sikhs have celebrated the religious festival of Baisakhi at one of their religion's holiest shrines in the northern Pakistani city of Hasanabdal, even as tensions between the South Asian neighbours remain at fever pitch, Al Jazeera reports.

More than 1,890 Indian Sikh pilgrims, mainly from the states of Punjab and Haryana, were among thousands who participated in the festival at the Panja Sahib shrine in Hasanabdal, about 35km west of the capital Islamabad, on Sunday.

Hundreds of men and women dressed in colourful clothes lined up at the gurdwara, or shrine, to witness the reading of the final passages of the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism's holy book, which is considered by Sikhs to be a living saint.

Over the past 48 hours, the book had been recited from start to finish by devotees, and at its end all of the thousands of pilgrims present offered a collective prayer.

Baisakhi celebrates the anniversary of a decision by the tenth Sikh saint, Guru Gobind Singh, to formalise the identity of the Sikh community.

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