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ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Wednesday, said that Pakistan looks forward to welcoming Sikh pilgrims visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib through the Kartarpur corridor from November 17, 2021.

In a statement, the foreign minister pointed out that while Pakistan had reopened the Kartarpur Corridor on 29 June 2020 after temporary suspension of about three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, India had kept the Corridor closed from its side for nearly 20 months, and has only now allowed it to be re-opened.

“Sikh community from India and around the world had been urging the opening of the Corridor. Pakistan had also proposed formally to India to reopen the corridor in respect of the wishes and sentiments of the pilgrims,” he said.

Qureshi added that Pakistan will also be hosting thousands of Sikh pilgrims from India and around the world for 552nd birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak from 17-26 November 2021.

Earlier, Pakistan High Commission for India stated in a statement that it has issued around 3,000 visas to Indian Sikh Yatrees to participate in the 552nd Birth Anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak in Pakistan from 17-26 November 2021.

During their stay in Pakistan, the Sikh Yatrees would pay obeisance at various Gurdwaras including Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Nankana Sahib and Gurdawara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

“Visas to the Sikh pilgrims have been issued under the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974, which provides for visit of 3,000 Sikh pilgrims from India for the Birthday celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak. Thousands of Sikh Pilgrims residing in countries other than India would also be visiting Pakistan to attend the event,” the High Commission stated.

“Pakistan High Commission in India extends profound felicitations to the Sikh community in India and across the world on the 552nd Birth Anniversary of the founder of Sikh religion. The High Commission also wishes a spiritually rewarding yatra to the pilgrims visiting Pakistan on this occasion,” it stated, adding that the issuance of maximum number of pilgrimage visas is in line with the Government of Pakistan’s efforts for promoting visits to religious shrines in Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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