LAHORE: More than 1,500 Sikh pilgrims Thursday arrived in Lahore on a 10-day stay in Pakistan to celebrate the Baisakhi festival. The central ceremony of the festival will be held at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hassan Abdal tomorrow (Friday). Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairman Siddiqul Farooq received the Sikh pilgrims on the behalf of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif. Additional Secretary (Shrines) Muhammad Tariq was also present. Special security arrangements were taken to avoid any untoward incident. Personnel of the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS), Rangers, Police Department, Rescue 1122 and law enforcement agencies were also present on the occasion. Special medical treatment and food counters were also set up to provide medical facilities food for Sikh pilgrims. Sardar Balvinder Singh, pilgrim group leader, appreciated the government of Pakistan and the ETPB for making excellent arrangements for the pilgrims. Talking to the media persons, the ETPB chairman said that arrangement had been finalized to provide residential, transportation, security facilities to Sikh pilgrims. He said that Rangers personnel would provide security to Sikh pilgrims, and added that security of gurdwaras in Pakistan had been entrusted to Rangers He said that approximately 25,000-30,000 Sikh pilgrims were expected to participate in the festival from across the world, including Canada, US, Europe, India, Australia and other countries. The chairman said that as many as 3,400 visas were issued to those seeking participation in the festival. Pilgrims reached Lahore on special trains. However, they left the railway station for Hassan Abdal where they would stay for three days. They will also visit Nankana Sahib on April 15 and the next day they will visit Gurdwara Sacha Sauda Farooqabad. On April 18, they will visit Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Narowal. A seminar titled ‘Baisakhi’ has been arranged at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal on April 20. It may be mentioned that Baisakhi is the beginning of the solar year in the Indian state of Punjab.