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Sikh ‘jathas’ cross over to Pakistan to celebrate Guru Nanak birth anniversary

Received by the officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board of Pakistan and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee at the Wagah border

Sikh ‘jathas’ cross over to Pakistan to celebrate Guru Nanak birth anniversary

Photo for representation purpose only.



Tribune News Service

GS Paul

Amritsar, November 25

Different ‘jathas’ of Sikh pilgrims crossed over to Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah Joint Check Post on Saturday to celebrate the 554th Parkash Purab of Guru Nanak at Sri Nankana Sahib on November 27.

The pilgrims were received by the officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board of Pakistan and Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee at the Wagah border.

Pakistan High Commission Charge d’Affaires Aizaz Khan extended felicitations to the pilgrims and wished them a safe journey.

Earlier, amid chants of ‘Bole so nihal’, SGPC executive member Khushwinder Singh Bhatia led a ‘jatha’ that left for Pakistan.

SGPC secretary Partap Singh expressed unhappiness over the alleged denial of visas to a significant number of Sikh devotees. He appealed both Indian and Pakistani governments to revise the figure of devotees.

The SGPC had recommended applications of 1,684 aspirants of which 788 were denied visas by the Pakistan High Commission.

He said the SGPC recommends applications as per the allocated quota for Punjab but this time, 45 per cent applications were rejected.

“We have repeatedly been appealing to the Pakistan authorities to grant visas liberally. It is unfortunate that the Pakistan government rejected the applications without any valid reasons,” he said.

On the other hand, the Pakistan High Commission has clarified that the issuance of visas is covered under the framework of the Pakistan-India protocol on Visits of Religious Shrines of 1974, which speaks about giving visas to a maximum of 3,000 pilgrims from India on this occasion.

Meanwhile, Bhatia said the 10-day visa had been given by the Pakistan authorities during which the pilgrims will also visit other historical Sikh shrines in Pakistan.

On November 26, the ‘jatha’ will pay obeisance at Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Mandi Chuharkhana (Sheikhupura). On November 27, the ‘jatha’ will participate in the ‘Parkash Purb’ celebrations at Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib. On November 29, the pilgrims will depart for Gurdwara Panja Sahib at Hasan Abdal and after staying there, they will reach Gurdwara Dehra Sahib, Lahore, on November 30.

On December 2, the ‘jatha’ will visit Gurdwara Sri Rorhi Sahib, Eminabad, and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur Sahib, and will return to Dehra Sahib, Lahore, the same evening and will have a day’s stay before returning the next morning on December 4.

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#Gurdwara Nankana Sahib #Pakistan #Sikhs


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