SGPC says Pak denies permission to jatha to visit on Guru Arjan Dev martyrdom day

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Amritsar, Jun 4 (PTI) A batch of Sikh pilgrims, also known as jatha, would not be able to travel to Pakistan this year to mark the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev as the neighbouring country has not granted permission to it due to COVID-19 situation, the SGPC said on Friday.

Every year, the jatha travels to Pakistan to mark the martyrdom day, or Shaheedi Diwas, of fifth Sikh master Guru Arjan Dev at Gurdwara Dehra Sahib in Lahore, which falls on June 14. This year, the jatha was scheduled to depart for Pakistan on June 6.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) president Bibi Jagir Kaur said on Friday the Pakistan government has not given permission to jatha citing the COVID-19 pandemic.

“SGPC was fully prepared to send the jatha across the border to Pakistan. So far, the Indian government has also not raised any kind of restriction on the jatha,” said Bibi Jagir Kaur.

SGPC's assistant secretary media Kulwinder Singh Ramdas said, “The Yatra Department of SGPC talked telephonically to Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee's (PSGPC's) president Satwant Singh, who informed that due to the COVID-19 situation, the jatha coming to Pakistan on the occasion of Shaheedi Diwas (martyrdom day) of the fifth Guru has not been given permission by the government.” Kulwinder Singh said that the jatha was scheduled to depart for Pakistan on June 6 to mark the martyrdom day on June 14.

“The pilgrims who had deposited their passports for going to Pakistan on the occasion of the martyrdom day of Sri Guru Arjan Dev can collect them back from the SGPC's Yatra Department,” he said. PTI JMS SUN VSD AQS AQS

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