A jatha of Sikh devotees recently returned to India from Pakistan after celebrating Baisakhi, the Khalsa Sajna Diwas. The group visited various Sikh shrines in Pakistan, including Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, Gurdwara Sacha Sauda, Gurdwara Kartapur Sahib, and Gurdwara Dehra Sahib. The jatha entered India through the Attari-Wagah joint check post after departing on April 9.
One of the main events of the trip was held at Gurdwara Panja Sahib in Hasan Abdal on April 14. The “Panj Pyaras” of Akal Takht initiated “amrit sanchar,” and around 107 Sikh devotees took part in the ceremony. The Dharam Parchar Committee of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee presented kakkars (Sikh religious symbols) to the participants.
The jatha members had some heartwarming experiences during their trip. Baldev Singh Bhikhiwind visited his ancestral village, Rajajung, near Kasoor. Puran Singh of Jund village in Amritsar visited his birthplace, Kot Desraj village, after 77 years. He also met his childhood friends during the trip.
The Pakistan High Commission issued 2,856 visas to pilgrims from April 9 to April 18.
This trip is significant as it marks the first time that the Sikh jatha has been able to visit Pakistan since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also a reminder of the strong cultural and historical ties between Sikhs in India and Pakistan. The Sikh community has been pushing for better cross-border relations between the two countries, and such visits serve as a small step towards achieving that goal.
The jatha’s trip is a celebration of Sikh culture, history, and religion, and it highlights the importance of interfaith dialogue and understanding. As the world becomes more interconnected, it is essential to continue promoting cross-cultural exchange and fostering mutual respect and tolerance. The Sikh jatha’s trip is a shining example of this effort.