Thursday Nov 22, 2018
ISLAMABAD: India on Thursday gave a go-ahead to Pakistan’s proposal to build Kartarpur corridor to facilitate Sikh pilgrims wishing to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal District near the Indian border.
According to diplomatic sources, the Indian Home Ministry wrote a letter to the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi in which Islamabad's decision to open the Kartapur corridor was appreciated.
The Indian cabinet agreed to the offer at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in view of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji in 2019.
The Gurdwara Kartarpur Darbar Sahib in Narowal in Pakistan's Punjab province holds religious significance for the Sikh community. It is where Baba Guru Nanak settled down after his travels as a missionary. He lived there for 18 years until his death in 1539.
“In landmark decision, the Cabinet approves building and development of Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to International Border. Kartarpur corridor project with all modern amenities and facilities to be implemented with Central Government funding,” India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh tweeted following the meeting.
Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry hailed the development, calling it “a victory of peace lobby in both countries” and “a step towards the right direction.”
“Indian Cabinet endorsement of Pakistan’s proposition on #KartarPurBorderOpening is a victory of peace lobby in both countries, its a step towards the right direction and we hope such steps will encourage voice of reasons and tranquillity on both sides of the border,” Chaudhry tweeted.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform a groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor on November 28, 2018, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi informed via a Twitter post.
“Pakistan has already conveyed to India it's decision to open Kartarpura Corridor for Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary. PM Imran Khan will do break ground at Kartarpura facilities on 28th November. We welcome the Sikh community to Pakistan for this auspicious occasion.”
More than 3,000 Sikh pilgrims arrived in Lahore from India via special trains on Wednesday to celebrate the 549th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji from November 21-30.
The main ceremony will be held on November 23 at Nankana Sahib, which will be followed by a visit to Hasanabdal on the 24th, Lahore on 26th then Rohri on the 28th. The pilgrims will return to India on November 30.