Pak eases 10-day advance intimation norm for Sikh pilgrims visiting Kartarpur till Nov 30: Report
Islamabad, Nov 19 (PTI) Pakistan has temporarily relaxed its mutually agreed limit with India of 10 days advance intimation before the arrival of Sikh pilgrims to the revered Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan for the 552nd birth anniversary celebrations of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, according to a media report on Friday.
Geo News reported quoting sources that the decision has been taken by Pakistan as a sign of respect for the religious sentiments of the Sikh pilgrims due to India’s recent decision to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor ahead of the celebrations at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.
Pakistan has given a relaxation till November 30 and expects the Indian government will follow the agreed process for visitors from December 1 onwards, the news channel reported on its website.
India and Pakistan are both required to process lists of Sikh pilgrims 10 days before their visit to Kartarpur to allow for necessary procedural clearances.
The over four km-long Kartarpur Corridor, which links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district, reopened on Wednesday.
The pilgrimage to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara was suspended in March last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sikh pilgrims have been crossing the border into Pakistan from India and the rest of the world since Wednesday to celebrate the 552nd birth anniversary of their religion’s founder.
The Kartarpur Corridor, a visa-free crossing allowing Indian Sikhs to visit the temple in Pakistan where Guru Nanak died in 1539, first opened in 2019 for Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
The white-domed shrine in Kartarpur, a small town about 4 kilometres inside Pakistan, had remained out of reach for Indian Sikhs for decades owing to hostile relations between India and Pakistan.
An estimated 20,000 Sikhs were in Pakistan after millions fled to India following the Partition of 1947.