550th anniversary of Guru Nanak: 1st Sikh pilgrims enter Pakistan through Kartarpur Corridor

Pakistani Sikhs walk before a groundbreaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor to be set up between India and Pakistan in Kartarpur. – [File Photo]

NEW DELHI: The first Sikh pilgrims to use the Kartarpur Corridor border crossing entered Pakistan, confirmed India’s high commissioner in Pakistan in a statement.

Over 500 pilgrims are the first to use the corridor and have come to participate in the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nankana Sahib.

Visas were issued by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi on July 26. These visas were issued under the framework of Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974.

The government of Pakistan is taking a number of initiatives, including the opening of Kartarpur Corridor, to make the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak memorable.

Earlier this year, Pakistan had announced the work on Kartarpur Corridor to be completed before the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

The corridor is providing visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to the Gurdwara in Kartarpur Sahib – a small town in Narowal, four kilometres from the Pakistan-India border, where Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life.

The groundbreaking of the project on the Pakistani side was performed by Prime Minister Imran Khan at Kartarpur Sahib on November 28, 2018.

In January of 2019, Pakistan had shared its draft of Kartarpur Corridor Accord with India and invited its delegation for a visit to negotiate the document.