Sikh jatha in Pakistan to celebrate Baisakhi
A Sikh jatha (batch of pilgrims) left for Pakistan on Monday to celebrate Khalsa Foundation Day at Gurdwara Panja Sahib, Hasan Abdal, on the occasion of Baisakhi.
Members of the jatha left Golden Temple in the morning and crossed the border after undergoing immigration and Customs checks at the integrated check post (ICP) in Attari. All of them underwent the Covid-19 test before the departure. Buses organised by the Pakistan government took them further to Gurdwara Panja Sahib.
Most of the pilgrims were sent by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee and led by SGPC member Harpal Singh Jallah. SGPC member Gurmeet Singh Booh is the sub-leader of the group, which includes other members such as Amarjit Singh Bhalaipur, Balwinder Singh Vein Puin and Bibi Joginder Kaur.
437 pilgrims got visa for Pakistan
SGPC executive committee member Baba Charanjit Singh Jassowal, secretary Mahinder Singh Ahli, and SGPC officials flagged off the jatha after honouring members with siropas (robes of honour).
Speaking on the occasion, Jallah said, “There are many historic gurdwaras in Pakistan and every Sikh prays for their darshan (glimpse). The pilgrims are fortunate to have got this opportunity.”
Ahli said, “The SGPC sent 793 passports to the central government and the Pakistan embassy for the jatha being sent to celebrate Khalsa Sajna Diwas. Of them, 437 pilgrims got the visa. On SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur’s direction, scriptures of the Gurbani, kakaars (five symbols of the Sikh faith) for Amrit Sanchar, besides cholas (traditional Sikh attire), khandas, harmonium sets, turbans and shawls have been sent.”
Pilgrims will visit Nankana Sahib, too
The pilgrims will go from Gurdwara Panja Sahib to Nankana Sahib on April 14 and pay obeisance at local gurdwaras at Nankana Sahib on April 15. The jatha will go to Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Sheikhupura, on April 16, Gurdwara Dehra Sahib, Lahore, from April 17-18, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on April 19, where it will stay for the night. The jatha will then visit Gurdwara Rori Sahib on April 20 and stop at Gurdwara Dehra Sahib, Lahore, on April 21, from where it will return to India on April 22.