437 Indian Sikh pilgrims to travel to Pakistan for Baisakhi
The Indian pilgrims will be banned from interacting with Pakistani citizens in order to avoid contraction of the Covid-19 virus as per regulations set by the Pakistani government
Some 437 Indians have been issued permission by the Ministry of External affairs to visit Pakistan for Baisakhi to pay visit to the historic gurdwaras, including the Nankana Sahib, which is considered the most religious site for Sikhs.
Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee secretary Mohinder Singh Ahli told news agency ANI, “Four hundred and thirty-seven people have been granted permission to visit Pakistan on the occasion of Baisakhi.”
The SGPC on April 9 held a camp for two days at its headquarters to administer Covid-19 tests to pilgrims planning to visit Pakistan, along with distribution of passports to the pilgrims in the jatha who are set to leave on April 12th. SGPC secretary also informed, "All of them have tested negative for COVID-19. They will leave tomorrow and will return on April 22."
"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," said the SGPC secretary.
The Indian pilgrims will be banned from interacting with Pakistani citizens in order to avoid contraction of the Covid-19 virus as per regulations set by the Pakistani government.
People of both countries, India and Pakistan are allowed to visit religious shrines as per the 'Bilateral Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines' of 1974 signed between the two nations. Sikhs are allowed to visit religious sites affiliated with their religion on four occasions each year: Baisakhi, Guru Arjan Dev's martyrdom day, Maharaja Ranjit Singh's death anniversary, and Guru Nanak's birth anniversary.