Pakistan relaxes 10-day whistleblower limit for Sikh pilgrims
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has decided to relax its mutually set limit with India of 10 days before Sikh pilgrims arrive to visit Kartarpur, sources said.
Sources said the move was taken by Pakistan as a sign of respect for the religious feelings of the Sikh Yatrees given India’s last-minute decision to open the Kartarpur corridor, which was likely to hamper the public. Sikh pilgrims.
Pakistan has granted relaxation until November 30 and expects the Indian government to follow the agreed process for visitors from December 1.
India and Pakistan are both required to process lists of Sikh pilgrims 10 days before their visit to Kartarpur to allow the necessary procedural permissions. The Kartarpur Corridor, which connects Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the last resting place of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev, to the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district, reopened on Wednesday.
The pilgrimage to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of Sikh pilgrims have crossed the Pakistani border from India and the rest of the world since Wednesday to celebrate the birthday of the founder of their religion.
The Kartarpur Corridor, a visa-free passage allowing Indian Sikhs to visit the temple in Pakistan where Guru Nanak died in 1539, opened in 2019 for the 550th anniversary of Nanak’s birth but was closed last year due to the pandemic.
The white domed shrine in Kartarpur, a small town just four kilometers (2.5 miles) inside Pakistan, had been out of reach of Indian Sikhs for decades due to hostile relations between India and the Pakistan.
When Pakistan was separated from India at the end of British rule in 1947, Kartarpur ended up on the Pakistani side of the border, while most of the Sikhs in the region remained on the other side.
It is estimated that 20,000 Sikhs remain in Pakistan after millions of people fled to India in the wake of religious violence sparked by partition. Guru Nanak, born in 1469 to a Hindu family near the present-day Pakistani city of Lahore, is revered by both Sikhs and Hindus who prepare community festivals known as langars to mark his birthday.