New Delhi: Pakistan’s junior hockey team will participate in the men’s Junior World Cup to be hosted by India. This comes as travel measures in both the countries relaxes and pilgrim exchanges began with the decline in COVID-19 cases. The men’s Junior World Cup will take place in Bhubaneswar’s Kalinga Stadium from November 24 to December 5.

It has been reported that the Pakistani national hockey team will leave for India on Saturday and play practice matches with Chile and Canada on November 21 and 22. Pakistan’s first match is with Germany, on November 24 followed by a match with Egypt on November 27.

Meanwhile, as pilgrim exchanges have already started, 70 Pakistani devotees are visiting India to participate in the 718th Urs of Hazrat Khwaja Nizamuddin Auliya from November 18-25 in New Delhi. They are the first group of pilgrims from Pakistan to visit India after the onset of the pandemic in March 2020.

Similarly, around 1500 Indian pilgrims are visiting Pakistan from November 17-26 via the Attar-Wagah border. Both the visits are covered under the 1974 Bilateral Protocol between India and Pakistan on ‘Visits to Religious Shrines. The Indian pilgrims are visiting Gurudwara Shri Darbar Sahib, Gurudwara Shri Panja Sahib, Gurudwara Shri Dehra Sahib, Gurudwara Shri Nankana Sahib, Gurudwara Shri Kartarpur Sahib and Gurudwara Shri Sachha Sauda.

Earlier this week India announced the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, which was suspended for 20 months due to the pandemic. The Corridor provides rare visa-free travel from India to Pakistan and vice versa for pilgrims to pray at Holy Gurudwara Darbar Sahib.

The Gurudwara is considered to be one of the holiest places in Sikhism. It’s believed to be the final resting place of Guru Nanak. The 4.7 km long corridor was opened with much fanfare on November 9, 2019, on Gurpurab that year.

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