NANKANA SAHIB (Dunya News) – The government has released commemorative postage stamps to mark 550th anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak – the founder of Sikhism who died in the 16th Century. With the image of Gurdwara Janam Asthan and worth Rs8, the stamps can be used commonly.
Under the approval from Prime Minister Imran Khan, Minister for Postal Services Murad Saeed directed the Pakistan Post to issue a stamp in connection with 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.
The stamps will be available for sale on Saturday and the Pakistan Post will establish a post office at Kartarpur complex to facilitate Sikh pilgrims. Another post office will also be opened in Nankana Sahib.
Moreover, these stamps will be provided in 192 member countries of Universal Postal Union.
On Oct 29, the government of Pakistan issued commemorative coin to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.
The Sikh pilgrims, during their visit to the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib this month, will be able to buy the coin of worth Rs50.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the project on November 9, three days before the 550th birth anniversary Baba Guru Nanak that will be celebrated on November 12.
In October, he also laid the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib.
Khan, in a message shared on the social media, had reiterated that the work on the Kartarpur Corridor entered last stage.
He had further mentioned that Sikhs from all countries would be able to travel to the world’s largest Gurdwara. “This Gurdwara will strengthen local economy […] many jobs will also be created in travelling, religious tourism and hospitality sectors,” he had stated. “Buddhists have also been coming to visit different religious spots in Pakistan.”
While Sikh pilgrims do not need a visa for Pakistan; however they are required to obtain a permit before their departure.
The shrine is about 4 km (2-1/2 miles) from the border. The crossing and corridor - including a road, bridge over the Ravi River and immigration office - will replace a drawn-out visa process and circuitous journey through Pakistan.
Pakistan had accepted India’s demand of facilitating visa-free movement of 5,000 Sikh pilgrims per day, and now they will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur.
In November last year, Khan laid the foundation stone for the corridor, months after he assumed office after winning majority of seats in the parliament. India’s cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and other officials had attended the ceremony. The Sikh minority in India has long sought easier access to the temple, which is just over the border in Pakistan.
What is the significance of the shrine?
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, also called Kartarpur Sahib, is a gurdwara in Kartarpur, Shakargarh, Narowal District, Pakistan.
It is built on the historic site where Guru Nanak settled and assembled the Sikh commune after his missionary travels. The present gurdwara is built on the site where Guru Nanak died on 22 September 1539.
The shrine was built to commemorate the site where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life until his death in 1539.
The present building was built in 1925 at a cost of Rs.1,35,600, after the original one was destroyed by floods. It was repaired by the Government of Pakistan in 1995, and fully restored in 2004, at a significant amount.
It is considered to be the second holiest site for Sikhism after Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Pakistan, which was built at the site where Guru Nanak was born.