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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 June 2006, 05:59 GMT 06:59 UK
Sikh pilgrims enter Pakistan city
Indian Sikh pilgrims surround a van carrying a palanquin with their holy book as they enter Pakistan near Lahore
Pakistan is willing to allow as many as 5000 Sikhs to enter Lahore
Thousands of Sikhs from India are due to arrive in the Pakistani city of Lahore to mark the 400th anniversary of the death of a religious leader.

Nearly 200 Sikhs have already arrived in Pakistan to take part in ceremonies to mark the killing of Guru Arjun Dev.

Last year, nearly 2,000 Sikhs crossed over on a pilgrimage to the birthplace of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.

It was the first time since partition in 1947 that such a procession of Sikhs was granted entry by Pakistan.

Sikhs regard Guru Arjun Dev as one of the holiest martyrs of their faith.

His killing during the rule of Mughal king Jehangir in the early 17th Century triggered a protracted conflict between the Mughal dynasty and the Sikh community.

A BBC correspondent in Lahore says this is the first time the Pakistani government is allowing large-scale movement of Sikhs from India to pay tribute to a saint whose role in history has served as a dividing line between the Sikh and Muslim communities across the subcontinent.

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had given instructions to issue visas to as many as 5,000 visitors from India for the anniversary celebrations, according to Pakistani organisers.


BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Sikhs from India in Lahore pay tribute to Guru Arjun Dev



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Pakistan lets Sikh pilgrims enter
29 Nov 05 |  South Asia



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