Pakistan on Saturday announced that it would allow Sikh pilgrims from India to visit Kartarpur to mark the death anniversary of the founder of the religion, Guru Nanak, next month despite spike in coronavirus cases.
The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), which serves as the nerve centre of the government’s unified effort against the pandemic, said on Saturday that Sikh pilgrims could visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur amid strict safety protocols.
In its meeting on Saturday, the NCOC discussed the movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims through Kartarpur corridor in connection with the death anniversary.
Amid a raging fourth wave of coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan kept India in the category-C countries from May 22 to 12 August 2021, which meant that the movement of people, including Sikh pilgrims, from the neighbouring country was subjected to special permission.
The NCOC decided that only fully vaccinated pilgrims would be allowed to enter Pakistan along with a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) taken 72 hours before the travel. Upon arrival, the pilgrims will also be subjected to rapid antigen test (RAT).
“No one will be allowed to come to Pakistan in case of RAT positive results,” the NCOC said, adding that as per the enforced non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) a maximum of 300 people would be allowed to participate in the outdoor activities.
Baba Guru Nanak died in Kartarput on September 22, 1539. Sikhs from around the world visit Pakistan to attend his death anniversary every year.