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PM Imran Khan lays foundation stone for Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan

The Kartarpur Corridor, which will facilitate the visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, is expected to be completed within six months

Press Trust of India  |  Kartarpur 

Imran Khan
Pakistan PM Imran Khan (Photo:Reuters)

Prime Minister Wednesday laid the foundation stone for a corridor linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur - the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev - to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district to facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims.

Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. It was established by the Sikh Guru in 1522.

The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was built here, where Guru Nanak Dev is said to have died.

The Kartarpur Corridor, which will facilitate the visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, is expected to be completed within six months.

The development comes ahead of Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary next year.

ALSO READ: Kartarpur corridor: Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hardeep Puri head to Pakistan

Thousands of Sikh devotees from visit Pakistan every year to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

had proposed the corridor to Pakistan around 20 years back.

was represented by Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and at the event. cabinet minister also attended the ceremony.

Last week, Pakistan and India announced that they would develop the corridor on their respective side of the border to help Indian pilgrims visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

ALSO READ: Happy on Kartarpur corridor, but dialogue after Pak stops terrorism: Swaraj

India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place. The ties between the two countries had strained after the terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups in 2016.

Pakistan had invited External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who thanked her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi for the invite and said she was unable to travel to Kartarpur Sahib due to prior commitments.

The issue of Kartarpur Sahib came into focus after Minister visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of his cricketer-turned-politician friend as prime minister of that country.

After his return, Sidhu said that chief had told him that Pakistan may open a corridor to Kartarpur Sahib.

Sidhu has already arrived in Lahore with a group of Indian journalists to attend the ground breaking ceremony on Wednesday.

Chronology of Kartarpur corridor 1522: The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was established by the first Sikh Guru where Guru Nanak Dev is said to have died.

February 1999: The Kartarpur Sahib corridor was proposed by the then Prime Minister when he took a bus ride to Lahore during a peace initiative with Pakistan.

2000: Pakistan agrees to allow Sikh pilgrims from India to visit the shrine visa-free (and without passport) by constructing a bridge from the India side of the border to the shrine.

August 2018: minister Navjot Sidhu attends Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's swearing-in ceremony.

August 2018: Upon his return from Islamabad, Sidhu says that chief General informed him that the Pakistan government would open the Dera Baba Nanak (Kartarpur) corridor on Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary.

November 22: Indian Cabinet approves the from Dera Baba Nanak to the Pakistan border.

November 26: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu lays the foundation stone of the Dera Baba Nanak - Kartarpur Sahib Corridor (up to the International Border) at an event at Mann village of Gurdaspur district of Punjab.

November 28: Prime Minister lays the foundation stone of the 4-km corridor which is expected to be completed by next year.

First Published: Wed, November 28 2018. 15:10 IST
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