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SGPC Jatha Denied Visas to visit Pakistan for observing Shaheedi Gurpurab as MEA did not grant clearance

May 20, 2017 | By

Amritsar: In the midst of on going bilateral tensions between India and Pakistan, the Sikh Jatha from  Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) will not travel to Pakistan as the Indian External Ministry did not give its clearance, leading to rejection of visas by Pakistani embassy.

The jatha was scheduled to leave for Lahore, Pakistan on May 21 to observe the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev ji.

A communique by the SGPC chief secretary Kirpal Singh Badungar stated that due to non issuance of visas by the Pakistani embassy, the jatha will not go across the border, reports Hindustan Times (HT).

Gurdwara Dera Sahib (front), Smadh of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (middle) and Minar of Shahi Masjid Lahore (backdrop) | Credits: sajjadphotoarts

In a press note issued by the SGPC states that visas were denied due to lack of required permissions from India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

“It is disappointing. We will register our protest with the Indian government”, said the SGPC.

Moreover, yet another reason being contemplated upon by many is that the the SGPC follows amended version Nanakshahi calendar whereas Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee follows the original Nanakshahi calendar. There is a difference of dates for the Shaheedi Gurpurab in both calendars. As per amended version of the calendar the Shaheedi Gurpurab is on May 29 whereas according to the original Nanakshahi calendar the Gurpurab is on June 16.

Due to this discrepancy, various Gurpurbs were celebrated on different dates and Pakistan authorities had denied visas on earlier occasions too. But the people within the SGPC seems to be tight lipped to talk about this fact.

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