Prioritising religious connection, 500 Indian Sikh Pilgrims arrive in Pakistan to attend Guru Nanak Dev birth anniversary

News Bharati    30-Jul-2019

New Delhi, July 30: Although being at loggerheads and raising eyebrows with each and every comment the two countries make, India and Pakistan have clearly listed religious sentiments of the pilgrims on top priority. Continuing the same, almost 500 Indian Sikh pilgrims on Tuesday arrived in Pakistan to take part in celebrations pertaining to the 550th birth anniversary of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.

 

It said the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi issued visas to the Indian Sikh pilgrims. The visas have been granted over and above the issuance of thousands of visas every year under the framework of Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974. The Pakistan Foreign Office issued a statement confirming the arrival of 500 Indian Sikhs but did not tell whether they crossed over here via under construction Kartarpur corridor or Wagah border. The Indian Sikhs arrived here via Wagah border.

The Foreign Office said in the statement, “This morning, a special Jatha of a little over 500 Indian Sikh pilgrims crossed over to Pakistan for Nankana Sahib. These pilgrims are scheduled to kick start celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak from his birth place, Nankana Sahib, Pakistan on Thursday, 01 August 2019."

It further said that the Pakistan government is taking a number of important initiatives including opening of the Kartarpur corridor to make the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak memorable and historic. India and Pakistan have been inclined in promoting the policy to visits of religious shrines and people-to-people contacts between each other.

Pakistan and India are inching closer to finalise the modalities regarding opening of the Kartarpur corridor at Narowal, some 125-km from Lahore, for Indian Sikhs on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November.

The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev.

Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India.