Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Over 400 Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit Pakistan for Baisakhi

A total of 437 people have been granted permission to visit Pakistan on the occasion of Baisakhi at the historic gurdwaras of the neighbouring country, including the Nankana Sahib.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) secretary Mohinder Singh Ahli said that 437 people have been granted permission to visit Pakistan on the occasion of Baisakhi. “All of them have tested negative for COVID-19. They will leave tomorrow and will return on April 22,” he said.

Passports were distributed on Sunday in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) office to the jatha of Sikh pilgrims who will leave the SGPC office in Amritsar on April 12 and will return on April 22.

Ahli Secretary, SGPC said, “793 devotees had applied to visit Pakistan out of which 356 pilgrims had not received visas. 437 pilgrims had received visas out of which five had been found to be COVID-19 positive. 432 pilgrims will leave for Pakistan tomorrow and they will return to India on April 22 after celebrating Baisakhi and visiting gurdwaras.”

On the instance of the Government of Pakistan, Sikh devotees from India are not allowed to meet Pakistani citizens. The step has been taken by the Government of Pakistan in view of the COVID-19 situation.

The devotees said that they are going on “darshan” for the first time and that they felt lucky to visit their separated religious places.

Pal Singh a devotee said, ” I am on this trip for the first time. I will visit Kartarpur sahib and all gurudwaras in Pakistan to get darshan. I am very happy. I will leave tomorrow and be back on April 22.”

Gurmeet Kaur another devotee said, “I am very happy to visit all gurudwaras. My son is also coming with me”

Five devotees are in quarantine after they were found to be Covid-19 positive in a camp set up for coronavirus test of all the devotees at SGPC on April 9 and 10. (ANI inputs)