Fully vaccinated Sikh pilgrims can visit Kartarpur

The Kartarpur Corridor has remained closed since March 2020. The Indian government is yet to reopen the corridor, even though both the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee have repeatedly asked the Centre to do so.

PAKISTAN HAS decided to allow fully vaccinated Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib via the Kartarpur Corridor from next month with strict Covid protocols, ahead of the 482nd death anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak on September 22.

The Kartarpur Corridor has remained closed since March 2020. The Indian government is yet to reopen the corridor, even though both the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee have repeatedly asked the Centre to do so.

The decision to open the Kartarpur shrine was taken by Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) on Saturday due to the approaching death anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak on September 22.

In a release, the NCOC said, “Asad Umer, federal minister for planning development and special initiatives had held a meeting of NCOC on August 10 to discuss movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims through Kartarpur Corridor for religious events in Pakistan. Amid high disease prevalence of Indian Delta variant, India remained in the ‘Category C’ countries list from May 22 to till August 12 21 and essential movement from India to Pakistan were allowed through exemptions. It is clarified that Kartarpur Corridor had never been closed by Pakistan for Indian Sikh pilgrims and Indian Sikh pilgrims kept visiting Pakistan for religious tourism.”

It further said: “In view of the…death anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji (Joti Jot) on September 21, Indian Sikh pilgrims were allowed to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur while adhering to Covid protocols.

“Only fully vaccinated individuals (in possession of valid vaccination certificate) will be allowed to enter Pakistan through Kartarpur Corridor/Wagah Border. Negative RT-PCR test before travel to Pakistan (maximum 72 hours old) is must. RAT will be conducted on arrival in Pakistan. In case of positive result, individual will be returned to India. As per currently enforced Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs), an outdoor gathering of maximum of 300 individuals is allowed in Pakistan with adherence to stringent Covid protocols (mask wearing and social distancing etc). Therefore, concerned agencies will have to ensure presence of maximum 300 individuals at one time at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur.”

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