NEW DELHI — A team of over 500 Sikh pilgrims was given the visa by Pakistan to visit the Nankana Sahib as part of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism.
On Tuesday, the team entered Punjab province of Pakistan. These pilgrims would begin celebrations at Nankana Sahib, Guru Nanak’s birthplace, on August 1, the Pakistan High Commission said in a statement in New Delhi.
The Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi issued visas on July 26, reports IANS.
“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,” the high commission said 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,” it said.
“Pakistan feels honoured that celebrations of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak are being started from Nankana Sahib,” it said and added, the Pakistan government was taking several initiatives to make the celebrations memorable and historic.
The cross-border Kartarpur corridor will be inaugurated in November, during which thousands of pilgrims from India are expected to cross into Pakistan to visit the Kartarpur gurdwara, where Guru Nanak spent his final days.
Both sides said that they had agreed to a majority of modalities for the smooth passage of the pilgrims.