Antonio Guterres to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on 19 Feb during Pakistan visit, will hold meetings with Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi

UN Secretary-General will arrive in Islamabad on Sunday and will hold meetings with Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Press Trust of India February 11, 2020 11:30:25 IST
Antonio Guterres to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on 19 Feb during Pakistan visit, will hold meetings with Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi
  • UN chief Antonio Guterres will visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur during his visit to Pakistan next week

  • UN Secretary-General will arrive in Islamabad on Sunday and will hold meetings with Imran Khan and Shah Mahmood Qureshi

  • Guterres will also meet Pakistan president Arif Alvi

New York: UN chief Antonio Guterres will visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, in Kartarpur during his visit to Pakistan next week.

The UN Secretary-General will arrive in Islamabad on Sunday and will hold meetings with prime minister Imran Khan and foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on that day and speak at an event on sustainable development and climate change.

Antonio Guterres to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on 19 Feb during Pakistan visit will hold meetings with Imran Khan Shah Mahmood Qureshi

File image of UN chief Antonio Guterres. AP

Guterres will travel to Kartarpur to visit a holy site, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq told reporters on Monday. The UN chief is expected to visit one of the most prominent Sikh pilgrimage sites next Tuesday.

Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life at Kartarpur Sahib, which has now become the world's largest Sikh Gurdwara.

On 17 February, Guterres will also speak at the International Conference on 40 Years of Hosting Afghan Refugees in Pakistan, which is being organized by the Pakistan government and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), along with High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. He will participate in a high-level panel discussion and other events at the conference.

Guterres will also meet Pakistan president Arif Alvi. The Secretary-General will be in Lahore on 18 February, where he will meet students and attend an event on Pakistan's polio vaccination campaign. He will visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib before returning to New York on 19 February.

In November last year, the UN chief welcomed the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor between India and Pakistan, saying it paved the way for interfaith harmony and understanding.

"We welcome Pakistan and India opening Kartarpur Corridor today connecting two key Sikh pilgrimage sites, paving way for interfaith harmony and understanding by facilitating visa-free cross border visits by pilgrims to holy shrines", spokesperson for the Secretary-General had tweeted.

The Kartarpur Corridor links Dera Baba Sahib in Gurdaspur in India and Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. It was opened by Khan on 9 November in a historic people-to-people initiative between the two countries.

The Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib is located across the Ravi river in Pakistan and is about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab. According to the agreement between Pakistan and India, 5,000 pilgrims from India can visit the shrine daily and the number can be increased in the future.

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