Delhi, 13 November 2021 (TDI): Pakistan High Commission for India issued around 3000 visas to Indian Sikh Yatrees (pilgrims) on the eve of the 552nd Birth Anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

Over 8,000 Sikh Yatrees from around the world have arrived in Pakistan to commemorate Baba Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary, informed Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Minister of Information and Broadcasting.

The birthday celebrations will continue from 17th to 26th of this month.

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

The Sikh pilgrims will visit Kartarpur Corridor for attending the 552nd Birth Anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. According to the Foreign Office Pakistan release, government of Pakistan has opened the Kartarpur Corridor  from its side, and expects India to follow suit.

After being temporarily closed owing to the pandemic on March 16, 2020, the Kartarpur Corridor reopened on June 29, 2020, under Covid-19-related measures. Thousands of Sikhs in India are waiting for the Modi government’s decision on reopening the Kartarpur Corridor so they can attend Baba Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary. In a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi requested that the corridor be reopened promptly because the COVID situation had significantly improved.

November 9, 2021 marks the 2nd anniversary of Kartarpur Corridor which is also known as the ‘Peace Corridor’. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan in 2019. The Sikh community of both Pakistan and india desired border corridor between Pakistan and India connecting the Sikh Shrines of Dera Baba nanak sahib and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. the desire was materialized through the Kartarpur Corridor by the incumbent government of Pakistan.

Sikh pilgrims can travel to Kartarpur Corridor without a visa. The Corridor has the capacity to handle greater numbers of tourists on special occasions in addition to regular visits by up to 5,000 pilgrims seven days a week throughout the year.

Who is Guru Nanak?

19th-century mural painting from Gurdwara Baba Atal depicting Guru Nanak.

The first guru and founder of Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, founded Kartarpur in 1504 CE on the right bank of the Ravi River and established the first Sikh commune there. He spent last 18 years of his life at Kartarpur. The region was partitioned between India and Pakistan during the 1947 partition of India. The Shakargarh tehsil on the Ravi River’s right bank, containing Kartarpur, was awarded to Pakistan by the Radcliffe Line. Kartarpur Corridor lies at Narowal district, Punjab, Pakistan, and Gurdaspur district, Punjab, India.