Lahore, September 21
For the first time, the Sikh community in Pakistan has started commemorating the Jyoti Jot of Guru Nanak Dev at Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara.
Indian devotees gave it a miss due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pakistani Sikhs, mostly from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, are taking part in the three-day events of the Jyoti Jot (death anniversary) of Guru Nanak Dev at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib that began on Sunday, said Amir Hashmi, spokesperson for the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) which looks after the minority holy places in the country.
No Sikh from across the border has come to attend the festivities, he said, adding that the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are being observed.
This is the first time that the Jyoti Jot of Guru Nanak Dev has been observed at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib ever since it came into being.
The Indian government was formally asked to let Sikhs attend the events but New Delhi rejected it apparently due to the coronavirus pandemic, said the official.
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhik Committee (PSGPC) had also requested the Indian government to allow Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib.
Pakistan on June 29 reopened the historic Kartarpur Sahib Corridor three months after it was closed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The corridor allows Indian pilgrims to undertake visa-free travel to the historic shrine.
It links Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur in India to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev. PTI