The much talked about Kartarpur corridor has finally opened on Saturday to all pilgrims. The pathway will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab with the Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan’s Punjab province. This will grant all the followers of Guru Nanak access to the place where the revered Sikh Guru has spent his final days, without a visa.
PM Modi Inaugurated The Kartarpur Corridor
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the passenger terminal on Saturday, November 9. Ahead of the ceremony, he expressed his gratitude to Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan for understanding his sentiment of India on the topic of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. Separate ceremonies will take place in both, India and Pakistan to celebrate the remarkable occasion.
He initiated the ceremony by flagging off the first batch of more than 500 Indian pilgrims that are heading to the Gurudwara Darbar Sahib. This date itself holds much significance as it marks the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
“The opening of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devi Ji has brought us immense happiness. I am fortunate that I am dedicating the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor to the country today. The feeling that you all have at the time of ‘Kar Seva’ (free voluntary work done by Sikhs) is what I am feeling right now. I congratulate all of you, the entire country, and the Sikh brothers and sisters around the world,” said, PM Narendra Modi.
PM Modi even took the occasion to assert that he is fortunate enough to be able to allot the Kartarpur corridor to India. He further exclaimed that the opening of this passage will bring double joy to everyone.
The pilgrims which will be received by Pak PM Imran Khan include Sukhbir Singh Badal, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Akal Takht Jathedar Harpreet Singh, former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, and Navjot Singh Sidhu.
The Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee members along with all the 117 MPs and MLAs from Punjab will also be a part of the iconic ‘Jatha’.
FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi Addressed Sikh Community
The ceremony was opened by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, wherein he welcomed all those who had gathered there to witness the historic occasion. Addressing the Sikh community, he said,
“We welcome you with open hearts and arms. Come from the world over and witness the hospitality of the Pakistani nation…Baba Guru Nanak gave a message of peace and love. It is the seeds of love planted by Baba Guru Nanak that have blossomed today.”
Pakistan PM Imran Khan had earlier announced the Indian Sikh pilgrims would only be required to produce any valid ID in order to pass through the corridor. However, the Pakistan Army has recently declared that Indian pilgrims will have to produce a passport if they wish to cross the Kartarpur Corridor.
Both India and Pakistan had signed a pact last month, wherein they had agreed to let 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to visit Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib. This step is indeed something that would promote peace and harmony in the country.