AMRITSAR: The 'jatha' (batch) of Sikh pilgrims which visits Gurdwara Sri Dehra Sahib in Lahore every year to observe the death anniversary of Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh, will not be able to visit Pakistan this year, said Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Wednesday.
In a statement, SGPC said that the 'jatha' has been denied permission by the Pakistan government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The Yatra Department of SGPC had a telephonic talk with Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee's (PSGPC's) president Satwant Singh, who informed that due to the COVID-19 situation, the 'jatha' of Indian Sikh pilgrims going to Pakistan to observe the death anniversary of Sher-e-Punjab Maharaja Ranjit Singh has not been given permission by the Pakistan government," said the statement signed by SGPC's media assistant secretary Kulwinder Singh Ramdas.
Singh informed that the 'jatha' was scheduled to leave for Pakistan on June 21 and return to India on June 30, after observing the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh on June 29.
The SGPC has urged pilgrims, who had submitted their passports to its office for going to Pakistan to observe Maharaja Ranjit Singh's death anniversary, to collect their documents from its Yatra Department.