NANKANA SAHIB: The three-day celebrations of the 551st birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak began on Sunday in Nankana Sahib amid strict security measures.
Over 600 Sikh pilgrims have arrived from India through the Wagah border to participate in the celebrations. The main ceremony of the celebration will be held at Gurdwara Janamasthan in Nankana Sahib on Monday, which will end after the Nagar Kirtan procession followed by the Bhog ritual at night.
Various departments have already completed necessary arrangements, including security, accommodation, food, healthcare and transport, to facilitate the Sikh pilgrims.
Every year, more than 2,000 Sikhs come to Pakistan to participate in the birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak. However, the number has reduced this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The pilgrims will return to India via the Wagah border crossing on December 1 at the end of their pilgrimage. The celebrations will end after the Nagar Kirtan procession on Monday, followed by the Bhog ritual at night.
Meanwhile, the Head Granthi of Gurdwara Janam Asthan, Sardar Janam Singh, has demanded the United Nations to take notice of Kartarpur Corridor closure by India.
In a statement, he said that Pakistan opened the corridor on the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak as a gift to the Sikh community but India has closed it. Sardar Janam Singh said that the UN must ensure implementation of the agreement reached on the corridor.
Furthermore, Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee President Sardar Satwant Singh has said that the government has provided extraordinary facilities to the Sikh community in the country.
He said that Darbar Sahib Kartarpur has been developed according to its status and all sacred places of Sikhs like Darbar Sahib Nankana Sahib, Darbar Sahib Panja Sahib have not only been beautified but also improved to their original status.
Separately, Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, while congratulating the Sikh pilgrims on the birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, welcomed them in Punjab. He said that the government believes in religious tolerance. All facilities have been provided to the Sikh community for performing their religious rituals and Sikhs are free to live their lives according to their religious beliefs, he added.
Pakistan has rich Sikh heritage and culture with several holy places of the religion in the country.