551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev: Special Sikh jatha to visit Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 19

India will send a special Sikh jatha to Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan from November 27 to December 1 on the occasion of the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) announced here on Thursday.

However, there is no move as yet to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava indicated.

The visit of a truncated jatha will be as per the 1974 bilateral protocol on visit to religious shrines between India and Pakistan. There was, however, no confirmation yet from the Pakistan side, he said.

In view of the pandemic, all health related protocols will be strictly followed, Srivastava added.

Pakistan had in June unilaterally reopened the corridor to commemorate Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s death anniversary but India had rejected the offer due to the pandemic.

Pakistan had made the offer again in October but the MEA had pointed out that movement was suspended in the wake of the Covid outbreak.

A decision on re-opening of the corridor would be taken in accordance with the Covid protocol and easing of restrictions, said Srivastava.

India and Pakistan had signed an agreement in October last year to operationalise the Kartarpur Corridor to allow Indian pilgrims visa-free visit to the holy Gurdwara, located about 4 km inside Pakistan.

The MEA also cites a technical hitch that Pakistan needs to make good. It has been over a year but Pakistan is yet to construct a bridge at Budhi Ravi Channel which is ready at the India end. Despite a technical meeting, there is no progress shown by Pakistan, officials have earlier said.

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