ISLAMABAD: Pakistan welcomed a special delegation of around 500 Indian Sikh pilgrims to the country to participate in the inaugural ceremony of celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in Nankana Sahib.
A special jatha (caravan) of around 500 Indian Sikh pilgrims crossed over to Pakistan through the Wagah border to partake in the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in Nankana Sahib.
The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi issued visas to the Indian Sikh Pilgrims.
A statement issued by Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi said Pakistan believes in the policy of promoting visits to religious shrines and people-to-people contacts between the two countries. “These 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 statement said.
The statement further said, Pakistan feels honoured that celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak by Indian Sikhs are being started from Nankana Sahib, Pakistan.
“The Government of Pakistan has been taking a number of important initiatives including opening of the Kartarpur Corridor to make the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak memorable and historic,” the statement added.
The Kartarpur Corridor connects Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Narowal district with Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur.
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province holds religious significance for the Sikh community. It is where Baba Guru Nanak settled down after his travels as a missionary. He lived there for 18 years until his death in 1539.
Pakistan will build the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Indian Punjab’s Gurdaspur district up to the border will be constructed by India.
In November last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone for the corridor. Former Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, Indian Minister for Food Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Indian Minister for Housing Hardeep S Puri had attended the groundbreaking ceremony.