Will help pilgrims from Haryana visit Pakistan as part of our jatha: SGPC
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Saturday announced that it will pursue cases of people from Haryana, wanting to visit Pakistan’s Sikh religious places as part of its pilgrimage jatha (group), the same way as it processes applications from Punjab’s residents. It has also opened a special centre in Kurukshetra district for collection of passports from pilgrims, who want to go to Pakistan to observe the martyrdom day of Guru Arjun Dev and the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh in June.
Sikh jathas go to Pakistan on four occasions in a year. These are Guru Nanak Dev’s Prakash Purb; Baisakhi; Guru Arjun Dev’s Shaheedi Purb and Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s death anniversary.
“Sikh pilgrims from Haryana will now be able to deposit their passports at the SGPC’s Haryana sub-office in Kurukshetra to join the Pakistan-bound jathas, from where visa processing will take place,” said SGPC president Bibi Jagir Kaur.
“Due to the separate quota for pilgrims from Haryana, they had to complete the visa process themselves by approaching district administrations. The SGPC would now provide facilities to the sangat of Haryana on a par with the pilgrims from Punjab,” Kaur said, appealing to the Haryana sangat to submit passports for jathas going to Pakistan in June.
A spokesperson of the gurdwara body said only a few small societies are working in Haryana and due to which many pilgrims had not been able to complete the process for getting visas.