In a first, pilgrims to travel to India by air as ‘tourism booms’

In a first, pilgrims to travel to India by air as ‘tourism booms’

LAHORE:

After the arrival of Indian tourists in Pakistan earlier in January, Pakistani tourists will also fly to India on January 29 on a special Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight for the first time in 75 years.

Earlier, pilgrims used to visit each other’s countries either by foot or via Samjhauta Express. According to Member National Assembly and Chairman Pakistan Hindu Council Ramesh Kumar, an agreement was reached between the PIA and Air India for the promotion of religious tourism between the two neighbouring countries.

Read more: 200 Hindu pilgrims from India to visit Pakistan on New Year

As per the pact, both airlines would operate special flights in this regard. A group of Pakistani tourists would depart from Lahore airport on January 29 and will return on February 1.

During the three-day visit, the group would visit the dargah of Sufi saint Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer Sharif, Jaipur, Agra, Mithra, Haridwar and the dargah of Hazrat Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi.

Also read: Pakistan issues visas to Indian Hindu pilgrims to visit historic temples

Dr Ramesh said that the visit would cost $1,500 to each pilgrim and an additional $200 would also be charged if they want a separate room during their stay in Agra and Delhi.

As per an agreement between Pakistan and India which was reached in 1974, the pilgrims can visit religious sites of both countries. The Waqf Property Board and the ministry of religious affairs arrange the arrival and departure of pilgrims.

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