Pakistan has granted visas to 505 Sikh pilgrims for attending the events being organized at Nankana Sahib, birth place of Sikhi’s founder Guru Nanak Sahib, to mark the centenary of Saka Nankana Sahib (Nankana Sahib massacre).
Through the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), total 629 pilgrims applied for visa of Pakistan for being part of the jatha departing from Amritsar Sahib on February 18 to Pakistan via Wagah border. However, visas were issued to 505 pilgrims. Other Sikh bodies like Bhai Mardana Yadgar Society, Ferozepur, and Shiromani Akali Dal-Delhi (SADD) are also sending groups of the pilgrims with the jatha.
The SGPC’s spokesperson said the pilgrims could collect their passports from Teja Singh Samundri Hall, the SGPC headquarters, on February 17. The pilgrims will have to get their Covid-19 test conducted within 72 hours before the departure. With the help of Punjab Health Department, a camp is being organized at Teja Singh Samundri Hall for the tests.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) has planned a week-long programme to mark the centenary.
Saka Nankana Sahib is the massacre that took place in Gurdwara Janam Asthan at Nankana Sahib on 20 February 1921, at that time of British India, in modern-day Pakistan. More than 260 Sikhs were killed, the youngest of them being a little short of eight years, Sardar Darbara Singh, son of Sardar Kehar Singh, by the Mahant and his mercenaries. The event forms an important part of Sikh history. The saga constitutes the core of the Gurdwara Reform Movement started by the Sikhs in the early twentieth century.