500 Sikh pilgrims reach Pakistan for Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birthday celebration
ANI Photo

Kartarpur: A special 'jatha' of around 500 Sikh pilgrims reached here on Tuesday to take part in the celebrations of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev at his birthplace on August 1.

The group was led by the president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Gobind Singh Longowal, and president of the Delhi Gurdwara Management Committee (DGMC) Manjinder Singh Sirsa. The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi issued visas to these pilgrims.

"These visas have been granted over and above the issuance of thousands of visas every year under the framework of Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974," said the High Commission in a statement.

"Government of Pakistan also believes in the policy of promoting visits to religious shrines and people-to-people contacts between Pakistan and India," added the statement.

On July 14, India and Pakistan had held the second round of bilateral talks to narrow down their differences on the corridor for travel of Sikh pilgrims from Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in Punjab to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan. Both sides said that they had agreed to a majority of modalities for the smooth passage of the pilgrims.

Once opened, the three-km corridor will allow Sikh pilgrims direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak Dev passed away in 1539. The route is expected to be completed by September-end.

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