500 Sikhs reach Pakistan for 550th Guru Nanak anniversary

New Delhi: Over 500 Indian Sikh pilgrims entered Pakistan on Tuesday after being granted visas by Islamabad to head for the historic Nankana Sahib Gurudwara in order to begin celebrations in advance for the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism and first guru of the Sikhs Guru Nanak, the Pakistan high commission (PHC) said on Tuesday. Nankana Sahib is the birthplace of Guru Nanak. Islamabad said it felt “honoured” that the “celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak by Indian Sikhs are being started from Nankana Sahib, Pakistan”.

In a statement, the PHC said, “This morning, a special ‘Jatha’ (contingent) of a little over 500 Indian Sikh pilgrims crossed over to Pakistan for Nankana Sahib. These pilgrims are scheduled to kick-start celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak from his birth place, Nankana Sahib, Pakistan on Thursday, August 1,  2019. Pakistan high commission in New Delhi issued visas to the Indian sikh pilgrims who are partaking in the special Jatha on 26 July 2019.” The PHC added, “Pakistan feels honoured that celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak by Indian Sikhs are being started from Nankana Sahib, Pakistan. Pakistan is taking important initiatives including opening of the Kartarpur Corridor to make the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak memorable. Pakistan also believes in the policy of promoting visits to religious shrines and people-to-people s between Pakistan and India.”

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