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Sikh yatrees given one-year passport exemption on Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary

Sikh yatrees given one-year passport exemption on Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary
November 7, 2019
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – The Pakistan government has exempted Sikh yatrees from passport for one year on the auspicious 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji. Briefing the media on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said that yatrees have been exempted from advance intimation and service fee of US$20 from November 9 to 12. He said that a package has been made for yatrees visiting Kartarpur on 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The FO spokesperson said that geographical changes were illegal and occupational. “We reject the issuance of political maps,” he said. Meanwhile, Indian politician Navjot Singh Sidhu phoned Senator Faisal Javed and announced to participate in the inaugural ceremony of Kartarpur corridor. Senator Faisal Javed has welcomed the yatrees visiting Pakistan from across the country. He said that Pakistanis are ready for each kind of hospitality. On November 6, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood said that the historic initiative by Prime Minister Imran Khan would be opened on the auspicious occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He underscored that Pakistan has taken this step to meet the long-standing request of Nanak NaamLevas and especially the Sikh community across the world, particularly from India. “Opening of the corridor is in line with the Islamic principles, Pakistan's policy of promoting inter-faith harmony, and Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood.” He said that Pakistan will permit 5,000 Indian pilgrims of all faiths without visa, per day, seven days a week, throughout the year, with the provision for additional numbers on special occasions, subject to capacity. He added that, as a part of series of activities to celebrate the 550thbirth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, the government is issuing a special coin and a commemorative stamp. Moreover, the prime minister has laid the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University at Nankana Sahib. The secretary stated that besides the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, pilgrims from India would be coming through Wagah border as well. “Similarly, thousands of pilgrims from across the world, especially from countries with large Sikh community, are coming to Pakistan,” he added. Sohail Mahmood underlined that the first phase of the construction of Kartarpur corridor project and renovation of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, which has now become the world’s largest Sikh Gurdwara, has been completed in record time. Appreciating the interest of the diplomatic corps to attend the inauguration ceremony on November 9, the foreign secretary informed about the arrangements made for their facilitation. The members of the diplomatic corps in Islamabad had also attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on November 28, 2018.
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