Over 2000 Sikh pilgrims from India have arrived at Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan's Punjab province ahead of the opening of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor, scheduled to take place this week.
According to the Press Trust of India, around 2200 Sikh pilgrims arrived in Punjab province via the Wagah border and were received by senior officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB).
2019 marks the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev and the Gurdwara Janamasthan Nankana Sahib was built at the site he was born.
The pilgrims will also visit other Gurdwaras in the Punjab province during their and attend the opening ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9. They will also take part in the main function marking the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev on November 12. They are scheduled to leave for India on November 14.
On October 31, the first batch of 1100 Sikhs crossed over from Wagah and visited the Kartarpur Sahib along with Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, also installing a gold palki at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.
Approximately 5,000 Sikh pilgrims from India are expected to visit daily after the inauguration of the corridor.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan government has decided to make it mandatory for tour operators to have an NoC (no objection certificate) to take Sikhs from other countries outside of India to their holy places especially Kartarpur Sahib.
"The Sikhs coming from the US, Canada and the European countries have been issued visit visa for Lahore. There are security problems with their uncoordinated visits to their holy places. That is why the tour operators have been asked to take NoC to the travel of foreign Sikhs here," an official said.
The Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab government has also opened a motel in Nankana Sahib for the pilgrims.