Pakistan issues 112 visas for Indian pilgrims to visit Katas Raj temple

New Delhi: Pakistan on Tuesday issued another 112 visas to Hindu pilgrims in India to visit prominent temples in Pakistan Punjabs Chakwal district, Express Tribune reported.

“Today, the High Commission for Pakistan in India issued 112 visas to Indian Hindu pilgrims for their visit to a prominent Hindu temple in Punjab, Pakistan,” read an official statement.

The group would be visiting Shree Katas Raj Temples, also known as Qila Katas or complex of Katas Temples, in Chakwal district of Punjab from December 17-23, it added.

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Katas Raj Temples surround a pond which is considered sacred by the Hindus. The visit is covered under the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines, 1974, the report added.

In addition to visas for Hindu religious sites covered under the framework of the bilateral protocol, a large number of Indian Hindus are issued visas by Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on a regular basis for visits to their families and friends in Pakistan, according to the communique.

“The [Pakistan] High Commission wishes a spiritually rewarding pilgrimage to Hindu pilgrims visiting Pakistan. Pakistan remains committed to preserving sacred religious sites and extending all possible assistance to the visiting pilgrims of all faiths,” it added.

Earlier this month, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi had issued 136 visas to Hindu devotees who are visiting the country to participate in the 313th birth anniversary celebrations of Shiv Avtari Satguru Sant Shadaram Sahib at Shadani Darbar Hayat Pitafi in Sindh from December 4 to 15, an official statement said.

The 300-year old temple is a sacred place for Hindu devotees from across the globe. The Shadani Darbar was founded in 1786 by Sant Shadaram Sahib, who was born in Lahore in 1708, the report added.

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