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2,500 Indian Sikhs arrive in Pakistan for Gurupurab

The Sikh pilgrims will visit Dera Sahib, Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib this time. The visas were issued for a period from November 6 to 15.

NEW DELHI, Nov 6: Pakistan has issued 2,942 visas for Indian Sikhs to visit the gurdwaras in the country during Gurupurab, the birth anniversary celebrations of the first Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Nanak. Over 2,500 of them arrived in Pakistan on Sunday.

The visas have been issued for a period from November 6 to 15. The Sikhs willl visit Dera Sahib, Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib.

The visas issued by the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi are for Sikhs residing in India. Sikh pilgrims from other countries also visit Pakistan during the anniversary.

“The issuance of pilgrimage visas to religious pilgrims by the high commission is in line with the Government of Pakistan’s commitment to fully implement the bilateral Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines between the two countries,” the Pakistan High Commission said in a statement.

The 553rd Guru Nanak birth anniversary celebrations will be held at Gurdwara Nankana Sabib on November 8.

The visas are issued under the India-Pakistan Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974. The protocol states that up to 20 parties each may be allowed to go to the other country every year. The number could be revised from time to time.

Last year too 3,000 visas were issued on the 552nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev from November 17 to 26. A jatha of around 1,500 pilgrims visited Pakistan through Atari-Wagah border post. The pilgrims visited Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Sri Panja Sahib, Dera Sahib, Kartarpur Sahib and Gurdwara Sacha Sauda.

Guru Nanak Jayanti is also known as Guru Purab. Guru Nanak is the first Sikh Guru. The day is celebrated on the full moon day of the Kartik month as per the Hindu calendar. It is also marked as Kartik Poornima. Last year the day fell on November 19.

The Kartarpur Corridor, built a couple of years ago, allows Indian pilgrims visa- free access to a historic gurdwara built at Kartarpur in Pakistan’s Punjab province where Guru Nanak spent the final years of his life. The Kartarpur Corridor connects the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib (Kartarpur Sahib), near Lahore in Pakistan, to Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district in the Indian State of Punjab.

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