Thousands of Sikhs from India and other nations are staying in Pakistan as Baba Guru Nanak’s 553rd birthday celebrations get underway at the Janumasthan Nankana Sahib. Despite tensions with India, the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) made every effort to assist the Sikh yatrees (pilgrims).
The primary event, in which thousands of Sikh yatrees from around the world will take part, will take place at Janumasthan today (November 8). Pakistan has made it possible for the Sikh community to celebrate the birthday of their Guru Baba Nanak Dev Ji in the Kartarpur Corridor, despite India’s defiant stance.
This is just another example of Islamabad’s efforts to promote peace in the area. Sikhs were able to visit their holy place during this significant ceremony because of Islamabad’s efforts.
The Kartarpur corridor is a visa-free crossing allowing Indian Sikhs to visit the temple just 4 kilometers inside Pakistan where Baba Guru Nanak died in 1539.
The corridor was initially inaugurated in 2019 to celebrate Baba Nanak’s 550th birthday, however, it was later shut down due to the coronavirus epidemic. The corridor links Punjab in Pakistan and Punjab in India, which was split between the two nations after they won independence from Britain in 1947.
Punjab is the home of Sikhism. Although many of their sacred sites are still present in Religion Pakistan, Sikhs make up a very small percentage there. Since gaining independence, Pakistan and India have fought three full-scale wars over Kashmir, which is split between the two nations but is claimed by each in its entirety.
As the nuclear-armed South Asian adversary nations upheld their ceasefire agreement in the disputed region for months, the Kartarpur trying to cross as a peace corridor—was reopened. The final 18 years of Guru Nanak’s life were spent at Kartarpur Sahib. From the other side of the border in India, one can see his white-domed shrine. Sikh pilgrims from India struggle to get there and have long demanded a road link and more flexible travel authorizations.
The corridor was described by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres as the “Corridor of Hope” during his visit to Kartarpur Sahib in February 2020. The Kartarpur corridor was reopened on 29 June 2020 under Covid-19-related protocols after its temporary closure due to the pandemic on 16 March 2020.
Pakistan has issued visas to nearly 3,000 Indian pilgrims under the framework of the Pakistan-India Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines of 1974 to participate in celebrations in several cities in the bordering nation on the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak from November 6-15.
A sizable number of Sikh yatrees, or pilgrims, go to Pakistan every year from India for religious festivals and special occasions. In addition to the visas awarded to Sikh pilgrims from other nations, the Pakistan high commission in New Delhi also issued 2,942 visas to citizens of India. The best amenities, including security, lodging, medical care, transportation, and other services, will be made available to the yatrees, according to ETPB Chairman Habibur Rehman Gilani.