Pak to issue additional visas to Sikh pilgrims: A ‘Nagar Kirtan’ group leaves Delhi

New Delhi: To facilitate the 550th Anniversary celebrations, Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi will issue ‘additional visas’ to Indian Sikh pilgrims above the 3,000 limit allowed under the bilateral Protocol for their visit to Sikh Gurdwaras in Pakistan between November 5 and 14, it was announced here on Monday.
Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) with the support of the Government of Pakistan has prepared a detailed program, spanning over a week, for the visiting devotees for performing different religious rituals at holy Sikh Gurdwaras in Pakistan, particularly Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur Sahib, a release from the Pakistan High Commission said here.
Pakistan has also facilitated visits of a number of Sikh Jathas not only from India but across the globe, it said.
A special Jatha led by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and DSGMC visited Nankana Sahib, Pakistan from 30 July-01 August 2019 to kick-start the celebrations of the 550th Anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.
Meanwhile, a religious procession (Nagar Kirtan) of Sikh devotees from New Delhi started off their spiritual journey on Monday morning to the birthplace of Baba Guru Nanak, founder of Sikh religion, in Nankana Sahib in Pakistan.
The Nagar Kirtan is led by Sardar Paramjit Singh Sarna, former president of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC), and includes representatives from different sections of the Sikh community in India.
The Nagar Kirtan was seen off among others by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Acting High Commissioner of Pakistan, Syed Haider Shah also attended the seeing off ceremony, the release said.
The Nagar Kirtan via Ludhiana and Amritsar would be crossing over to Pakistan on October 31 through Wagah border.
This Nagar Kirtan from India is being welcomed by Pakistan as a special gesture this year on the auspicious occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.
The release further said around 1300 visas issued for the Nagar Kirtan are over and above the Jatha covered under the “Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines-1974” between Pakistan and India.