The first batch of 1,100 Sikhs from India arrived in Pakistan on Thursday for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak.
The visiting Sikhs will also be the part of the historic opening of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) spokesperson Amir Hashmi told PTI.
“The first batch of 1,100 Sikhs crossed over in Pakistan from Wagah Border to attend celebrations of 550 birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in Nankana Sahib,” Amir Hashmi said.
Amir Hashmi said that the visiting Sikhs brought “Golden Palki” along with them.
The ‘Nagar Kirtan’ (procession) was received here by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, ETPB chairman Aamer Ahmed and Pakistan Gurdwara Sikh Parbhandik Committee president Satwant Singh at Wagah Border.
The ETPB said that a special exemption of tax has been sought from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for the ‘Golden Palki’.
It said special arrangements have been made for the pilgrims including catering, medical camp and transportation.
“Upon their arrival the Sikhs left for Nankana Sahib. During their stay they will visit other gurdwaras as well in Punjab and take part in the inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9,” it said, adding that the ‘Golden Palki’ will be installed at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartapur.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will open the Kartarpur Corridor ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak on November 12.
The corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, just 4 kilometres from the International Border, located at Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Indian pilgrims of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor and the travel will be visa-free. Each visitor would be required to pay USD 20 as fee, though India has requested Pakistan not to charge the Indian pilgrims.