LAHORE:At a landmark peace movement, the Pakistan authorities opens the Kartarpur Corridor today, for the followers of Guru Nanak, allowing them to stop by the esteemed Sikh Guru’s final resting place without a visa.
The 3-kilometer corridor offers visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims, allowing them to travel to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, spent the final years of their lifetime. The passage links Narowal district to Dera Baba Nanak at Gurdaspur in Punjab, India.
The job, touted by many as the’corridor of peace’ between the 2 arch-rivals, was finished within a record period of twenty four weeks by Islamabad.
The two nuclear rivals laid the foundation stones to its Kartarpur corridor last year. Proposed throughout former Indian prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s 1999 trip, the project remained on the back burner for decades on account of the fluctuating ties between both nations.
Starting today, the Kartarpur corridor will allow thousands of Sikh devotees to carry out religious rituals at the shrine.
Ahead of this inauguration, Prime Minister Imran Khan waived the USD 20 for all those coming to Kartarpur to the 550th birth anniversary of the Sikh Guru.
“For Sikhs coming to your own pilgrimage to Kartarpur out of India, I have waived off two prerequisites: 1) they will not require a passport — a valid ID;
2) They no longer have to enroll 10 days in advance. Also, no commission to be charged on the day of inauguration and Guruji’s 550th birthday,” the prime minister tweeted earlier this season.
In an official statement on the eve of the inauguration, the prime minister congratulated the Sikh community on either side of this border.
“The inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor is a manifestation of the fact that our hearts are always available for the followers of different religions as enjoined by our great faith and envisioned by our Father of the Nation,” the prime minister said.
“This unprecedented gesture of goodwill by the Government of Pakistan is a manifestation of our profound admiration for Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji and spiritual sentiments of the Sikh community,” the statement added.
Regardless of being punctuated by regular snags, Pakistan has earned praise from the Sikh community for starting the passage in time to the important religious event this season. Sikh devotees from the opposite side of the boundary are optimistic the corridor job will defuse the tensions between both nations.
Sikhism originated in the Punjab area. But autonomy from the British rule led to breaking up the followers of the monotheistic faith, and its bookmarking websites. Each year, followers of Guru Nanak converge on Punjab to visit sacred sites in the state.
The state is home to several gurdwaras. On the last seven decades, Pakistan has revived over 20 places of worship. Situated approximately 90 km west of this city of Lahore, the Janam Asthan Nankana Sahib is another place that draws countless Sikh followers from all around the world. The gurudwara, also known as Nankana Sahib, was assembled on the birth site of Guru Nanak.
Other important gurdwaras incorporate the Dera Sahab in Lahore and Gurdwara Punja Sahab Hasan Abdal, in which Sikh devotees from across the world see and carry out religious rituals.
Ultimately up to this big day on November 12, which marks the birth anniversary of the Sikh Guru, the Pakistan government has made detailed security and medical arrangements for the visiting devotees. The Sikh traffic are expected to leave after November 14. On Friday, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar praised the government’s function in making adequate arrangements to its visitors.
Although the Kartarpur Corridor appears to be an isolated movement towards peace with very little if any impact on other bilateral disputes because of India’s stiff stance on Kashmir, it opens doors to spiritual tourism bonanza for its nation.
According to the cross-border passage, Punjab Governor said”spiritual tourism can contribute up to $5 billion into the national kitty each year,” The government plans to renovate different sites to promote spiritual tourism in Pakistan.