Amritsar, Punjab: Following the denial of visa to 379 SGPC members, a 774-member jatha will leave for Pakistan tomorrow to celebrate Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary at Sri Nankana Sahib on November 17.
The SGPC had submitted a list of 1,153 pilgrims to the Pakistan High Commission, seeking visas for them to attend Gurpurb celebrations. However, 379 pilgrims didn’t get the visa due to denial by the Pakistan High Commission as also objections by the Indian Government in some cases.
Confirming this, SGPC official Jaspal Singh said the jatha, headed by SGPC member Randheer Singh Cheema, will leave for Pakistan from the SGPC headquarters tomorrow morning and travel by a special train.
The jatha will first reach Gurdwara Sri Nankana Sahib from where it will proceed to Gurdwara Sacha Sauda. It will return to Nankana Sahib the same evening to celebrate Gurpurb on November 17. Later, the jatha members will head to Sri Panja Sahib on November 18. The jatha will also visit Gurdwara Dehra Sahib in Lahore, Gurdwara Rori Sahib and Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib before returning to India on November 24.
This is not the first time that a sizable number of pilgrims of an SGPC jatha have been denied visa by the Pakistan High Commission. The SGPC did not send its jatha to Pakistan for Baisakhi celebrations this year after the Pakistan High Commission said it could give visas to only 300 pilgrims as against the list of around 1,400 it had sent.
The SGPC had alleged that the Pakistan High Commission had been continuously discriminating against it on this count for the past some time. It also shot off missives to the Indian Prime Minister and the Pakistani President.
Not the first time
- The SGPC did not send its jatha to Pakistan for Baisakhi celebrations this year after the Pakistan High Commission said it could give visas to only 300 pilgrims as against the list of around 1,400 it had sent
- The Pakistan High Commission had also denied visa to 971 of the 1,860 Sikh pilgrims who were to be part of the SGPC jatha for Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary celebrations
Source: The Tribune