Harbans Singh, a Sikh pilgrim from India, who is in Pakistan to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak, on Monday searched in vain for an old friend from Pakistan named Muhammad Sharif, reported news website Urdu News.
Sikh pilgrims have thronged to Pakistan to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, where Baba Guru Nanak spent the last years of his life. Pakistan has facilitated the entry of the pilgrims by allowing Sikhs from India to travel across the border without the need for a visa.
The initiative, championed by PM Imran Khan at a time of heightened tensions with arch-rival India over a military curfew in occupied Kashmir, is aimed at promoting religious tourism in Pakistan and showcase an image of tolerance and inter-faith unity to the world.
— Shiraz Hassan (@ShirazHassan) November 12, 2019
According to Urdu News, Singh traveled to Kartarpur from the United States and visited the Jaranwala area in Faisalabad to search for and meet his decades-old friend Muhammad Sharif. During the visit, Singh met the neighbors and friends of the family very warmly.
However, he was informed that Sharif had passed away years earlier. Singh though, was taken to his ancestral house and also his village by friends in Pakistan.
“Visiting this area feels like I have been born once again,” Singh said while talking to Urdu News.
Singh thanked the people of the area for their hospitality as well. According to reports, Singh and his family had been forced to leave Pakistan for India at the time of partition due to the uncertain security situation in the region after Punjab was divided into two in 1947.