Over 240 Sikh pilgrims, including a 20-member SGPC delegation, visited the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan using the visa-free Kartarpur Corridor Friday on 552nd parkash gurpurab of Guru Nanak Dev.
On the occasion, Pakistan temporarily relaxed its mutually agreed limit with India of 10 days’ advance intimation before the arrival of pilgrims to the shrine in Kartarpur, according to a media report.
Geo News reported quoting sources that the decision has been taken by Pakistan as a sign of respect for the religious sentiments of the Sikh pilgrims. Pakistan has given a relaxation till November 30 and expects the Indian government will follow the agreed process for visitors from December 1 onwards, the news channel reported on its website.
India and Pakistan are both required to process lists of Sikh pilgrims 10 days before their visit to Kartarpur to allow for necessary procedural clearances.
The main ceremony in connection was held at Gurdwara Janaasthan Nankana Sahib, 80 kilometers from Lahore.
At Kartarpur, Bibi Jagir Kaur, president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), along with a delegation visited the temple.
“A total of 242 Indians, including deputy chief minister of Punjab and Jagir Kaur, visited Kartarpur Sahab today,” Kartarpur Corridor Project Management Unit chief executive officer Muhammad Latif said.
Bibi Jagir Kaur announced that raagi jathas would be sent daily by the SGPC to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. In addition, ration and other necessities will be provided as per requirement. She claimed that SGPC had sought permission for 101-member jatha but only 20 names were approved.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Aam Aadmi Party leaders visited Dera Baba Nanak and offered prayers near the India-Pakistan border, a day after they alleged that the Centre and the Punjab government denied them permission to visit the Kartarpur shrine.
AAP’s Bhagwant Mann alleged that the central government did not allow the AAP leaders to visit Kartarpur Sahib.
“There is a talk of open ‘darshan’ of Sri Kartarpur Sahib but the AAP leaders were not allowed to pay obeisance. There should not be any politics on the issue of going to Kartarpur Sahib,” said Mann. He said only the Centre knew the reasons for not allowing them to go to Kartarpur. Mann further appealed to the Centre to bear the USD 20 dollars fee to facilitate devotees.
Those who accompanied him included Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, Harpal Singh Cheema, party’s Punjab affairs co-incharge and Delhi MLA, Raghav Chadha; MLAs Kultar Singh Sandhwan, Aman Arora, Kulwant Singh Pandori, Meet Hayer, Manjit Singh Bilaspur and Jai Singh Rodi.
With PTI Islamabad