India has once again denied permission to Sikh pilgrims barring them from visiting Pakistan.
As per details, Sikh pilgrims were due to visit Pakistan to take part in Saka festival at Gurdwara Janamasthan at Nakana Sahib on Sunday February 21st. Indian government’s decision to deny permission to Sikh pilgrims comes as all essential arrangements were already finalized, said Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) spokesperson.
Sikh community has strongly criticized and condemned Indian government’s decision preventing them from exercising their basic religious rights.
This is not the first time Indian government has barred Sikh pilgrims from visiting Pakistan. Sikh pilgrims were denied permission to visit their holy sites in Pakistan in June 2020 as well as March 2019.
In contrast, Pakistan has taken significant steps towards facilitating Sikh pilgrims. Pakistan government opened Kartarpur Corridor on November 9th 2019 on India-Pakistan border.
The Kartarpur Corridor is a visa-free border crossing and corridor, connecting the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan to the border with India. The crossing allows Sikh devotees from India to visit the Gurdwara in Kartarpur, 4.7 kilometers (2.9 miles) from the India–Pakistan border on the Pakistani side without a visa
It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan on the eve of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, fulfilled the long-awaited desire of Sikh community from all over the world. Kartrapur has a special significance in the Sikh religion, as the first Guru of Sikhism, Baba Guru Nanak Saheb, had spent the last years of his life in Kartarpur.