Pakistan gurdwara body to celebrate first anniversary of Kartarpur Corridor opening
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) has announced to celebrate the first anniversary of the inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor that connects Dera Baba Nanak town on the Indian side with Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak, in the neighbouring country.
Some “important decisions” were in a joint meeting of the PSGPC and the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) in Lahore on Tuesday taken to celebrate the anniversary on November 9.
Talking to HT over phone, PSGPC president Satwant Singh said, “The first anniversary will be celebrated at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. Earlier, we were planning to invite Sikh devotees from India to attend the celebrations, but it was not possible as the corridor has not been opened from the Indian side in view of the coronavirus pandemic.”
The Pakistan government had reopened the corridor on its side in the first week of October. Pakistan’s religious affairs ministry issued a notification for reopening of the corridor, which allows Indian pilgrims visa-free access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.
Travel through the corridor was suspended in March following the Covid-19 outbreak. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), which manages the affairs of gurdwaras in Punjab and other states of the country, has demanded re-opening of the corridor from the Indian side, especially on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
TO SEEK 3,000 VISAS FOR INDIAN
PILGRIMS ON GURU’S BIRTH ANNIV
During the meeting, the PSGPC and ETPB also decided to ask the Pakistan government to issue 3,000 visas to Indian pilgrims for attending the functions being organised at Nankana Sahib, the birth place of the first Sikh guru, on the occasion of his 551th birth anniversary.
“Every year, 3,000 people come from India to commemorate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Though the pandemic has changed the situation this year, we expect that the Indian pilgrims will come. We have asked the pilgrims to come with negative Covid-19 test reports. Keeping the pandemic in mind, we are giving only five-day visas to the Indian pilgrims from November 27 to December 1. They will be able to stay at Nankana Sahib only,” said the PSGPC president.