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Sikh devotees leave for Nankana Sahib

The ‘Nagar Kirtan’ was seen off by Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal and acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah, among others.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

A religious procession (Nagar Kirtan) of Sikh devotees from India on Monday started its spiritual journey from New Delhi to the birthplace of Baba Guru Nanak, founder of Sikh religion, in Nankana Sahib, a sacred city in Pakistan.

The ‘Nagar Kirtan’ is led by 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 by Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal and acting High Commissioner of Pakistan Syed Haider Shah, among others. The ‘Nagar Kirtan’ via Ludhiana and Amritsar would be crossing over to Pakistan on 31 October through the Attari-Wagah border.

The ‘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. 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, the Pakistan High Commission said in a press release.

Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), with the support of the Government of Pakistan, has prepared a detailed programme, 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.

In accordance with the historic initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan to open the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, to be inaugurated on 9 November, for Sikhs and other Naamlevas of Baba Guru Nanak, this year, Pakistan has facilitated visits of a number of Sikh Jathas not only from India but across the globe.

A special Jatha led by Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and DSGMC visited Nankana Sahib, Pakistan, from 30 July-1 August to kick-start the celebrations of the 550th anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

To facilitate the 550th-anniversary celebrations, the Pakistan High Commission 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, from 5-14 November.