The decision has been taken at a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
NEW DELHI, NOV 22: The Kartarpur corridor project has been cleared by the cabinet. India has also approached Islamabad to build a corridor in Pakistan to the gurudwara “with suitable facilities in their territory”, the foreign ministry said in a statement. The corridor, between India and Pakistan, is aimed at providing easy passage to pilgrims to visit a historic gurudwara in Pakistan where Guru Nanak is believed to have spent the last 18 years of his life,
The Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara is a historic Sikh pilgrimage, 120 km from Lahore, in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision at a cabinet meeting ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Meanwhile, over 3,000 Indian Sikh pilgrims reached Lahore on Wednesday and left for Gurudwara Janamesthan in Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, for the birth anniversary festivities.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said “The Kartarpur corridor will provide smooth and easy passage to pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib throughout the year,” he tweeted.
India will build and develop a corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district to the International Border to facilitate Sikh pilgrims visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur on the banks of the Ravi river in Pakistan, “Visa arrangements will be made. The corridor will be 3 to 4 kilometers,” Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters after the cabinet meeting.
“Indian Cabinet endorsement of Pakistan’s proposition on #KartarPurBorderOpening is victory of peace lobby in both countries, it’s a step towards right direction and we hope such steps ll encourage voice of reasons and tranquility on both sides of the border (sic),” Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry tweeted.
In September, Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu triggered a controversy claiming that, during his visit to the neighbouring country, he hugged the Pakistan army chief when he said Pakistan was ready to open the Kartarpur corridor.
“…I have gone on record saying that the Pakistan army chief has told me that the Kartarpur corridor will be opened this time as we want peace, right? Then Pakistan PM had a meeting with all the stake holders and said that we are ready to open the Kartarpur corridor,” Mr. Sidhu had said.