Islamabad, October 15
Pakistan will celebrate the 551th birth anniversary of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev from November 28 to 30, the Foreign Office said on Thursday.
Every year, a large number of Sikh pilgrims from India and different parts of the world gather at the Gurdwara Janamasthan Nankana Sahib, the birth place of Guru Nanak, in Pakistan’s Punjab province to mark his birth anniversary. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to affect festivities this year.
Addressing a media briefing here, Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said that the 551th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak would be celebrated from November 28 to 30.
He said that Pakistan reopened the Kartarpur corridor on July 29, but India has not yet opened from its side.
The corridor – which allows Indian pilgrims to undertake visa-free travel to the historic Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara – was closed on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
India has said a decision to re-open the Kartarpur corridor would be taken in accordance with the protocols relating COVID-19 and easing of restrictions.
Chaudhri expressed the hope that India will review its decision in view of the upcoming 551th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
The corridor links Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur in India to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan — the final resting place of Guru Nanak.
In response to a question about the construction of a bridge on the Ravi river, Chaudhri said that Pakistan has already started the construction work on its side of the bridge, but “India has not yet provided engineering design of its side of the bridge”.
Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
In November last year, the two countries threw open the corridor linking Dera Baba Sahib in Gurdaspur in India and Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, in a historic people-to-people initiative. PTI