Over 1100 Sikh Pilgrims Visit Pakistan To Mark 550th Birth Anniversaray Of Baba Guru Nanak


Over 1100 Sikh pilgrims visit Pakistan to mark 550th birth anniversaray of Baba Guru Nanak

The Board says that sikh pilgrims are allowed four times a year to visit different places in Pakistan but Pakistani citizens are not allowed to visit religous places in India despite valid visas.

LAHORE: (Urdu Point/Pakistan Point News-Nov 4th, 2019) As many as 1100 Indian Sikh pilgrims arrived in Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassanabdal on Sunday midnight to take part in Nagar Kirtan, a religous procession held to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

According to the details, more than 1,100 Sikhs crossed the border through Wagah on Oct 31 via Ludhiana and Amritsar to visit Gurdwara Janamasthan, Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Sacha Sodda Farooqabad and other temples. Evacuee Trust Property Board's Deputy Secretary Shrines Imran Gondal said that the tour of the Sikh pilgrims will conclude at Kartarpur at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib where a gold palanquin "Palki Sahib would be installed.
There were colourful lights everywhere at Gurdwara Punja Sahib in Hassanabdal on Sunday night. The pilgrims performed varioius rituals including Matha Taki, Ashnan and exchanging gifts.

The board's official said Sikh pilgrims from India visit Pakistan for religious festivals at least four times a year under the framework of the 1974 India-Pakistan protocol on visits to religious shrines. However, he expressed serious concerns that Pakistais are not allowed to participate in religious rituals despite having valid visas which is not understood. The board, he said, in collaboration with the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhand Committee and the district administration, has made security and accommodation arrangements for Indian and local Sikh yatrees.

During thier visit to religious places in Pakistan, the Sikh pilgrims hailed the government’s initiative to open the Kartarpur Corridor to facilitate the Sikh community. They also appreciated the role of Prime Minister Imran Khan for laying the foundation stone for the Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib and issuing a commemorative coin on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

On other hand, strict security arrangments have been made for the Sikh yatris visiting different places in Pakistan. Shahzad Nadeem Bukhari, who is DPO Attock, said: "the district police would provide foolproof security to Sikh yatrees,” he said, adding: “Around 700 policemen would perform security duties, including four district superintendents, six inspectors, 11 sub-inspectors, 23 assistant sub-inspectors, 33 head constables, 506 constables, 40 women constables and plainclothes officers.”

Fida Hussnain

Fida Hussnain is a lahore based journalist. He writes on politics, religion, social issues and climate change. He is also a research fellow at University of Gujrat.