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Sikh Jatha Reaches Pakistan for Gurpurab Under Indian Consular's Security Watch

Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary celebrations are to be held in Pakistan from November 6-15. The main function on Gurpurab will be held at Nankana Sahib on Tuesday.

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Sikh pilgrims entering Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah border near Lahore on Sunday.
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The Indian consular team in Pakistan is coordinating with the Sikh jatha (group of pilgrims) visiting gurdwaras during the week-long birth anniversary celebrations of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.

Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary celebrations are to be held in Pakistan from November 6-15. The main function on Gurpurab will be held at Nankana Sahib on Tuesday.

The High Commission of India, Islamabad tweeted they are on the ground facilitating their safety and security during their stay in Pakistan. 

Last Friday, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi said it had issued nearly 3,000 visas to Indian Sikh pilgrims to attend the week-long celebrations.

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“On the occasion of the birthday celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak, the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has issued 2,942 visas to Sikh pilgrims from India,” the Pakistan High Commission in India said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Sikh pilgrims have expressed disappointment after the Pakistani authorities rejected 586 visas, out of the 1,496 visas of Indian Sikhs wanting to visit Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, in present-day Pakistan. The issuance of visas is covered under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974, the Pakistan High Commission said in a statement.

“The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) had applied for 1,496 visas, out of which, 910 were approved but 586 were rejected. The visas are valid for 10 days, and those whose visas were rejected are a disappointed lot. The government should not reject the religious visa,” said SGPC spokesperson Harbhajan Singh.

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“Both governments need to provide the facility of an arrival visa. A visa office must open at the Attari-Wagah border. The buses that used to run earlier for facilitating darshan of the gurdwaras of Pakistan should be resumed. The Delhi-Lahore bus and Samjhauta Express should be back on track. We should connect people of both countries through religious places,” he said.

The Indian pilgrims would be visiting Dera Sahib, Panja Sahib, Nankana Sahib, and Kartarpur Sahib.

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