Pakistan to open Kartarpur Corridor on Nov 9: Imran Khan
Lahore Pakistan will open the much-awaited Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on Sunday.
The corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab with the gurdwara at Kartarpur, just about four kilometres from the international border, located at Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, had spent more than 18 years at the Kartarpur gurdwara, located on the banks of the Ravi.
Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India. It will facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev on November 12.
“Pakistan is all set to open its doors for Sikhs from all across the globe, as the construction work on Kartarpur project enters final stages and will be open to public on November 9, 2019,” Khan said in a Facebook post, clearing the air on whether the corridor will be open ahead of the Gurpurb.
“The world’s largest gurdwara will be visited by Sikhs from across India and other parts of the world. This will become a major religious hub for the Sikh community, and will boost the local economy, result in earning foreign exchange for the country (and) creating jobs in different sectors, including travel and hospitality,” Khan said.
India and Pakistan have held a series of high-level talks for the operationalisation of the corridor. Only some issues, including the matter of $20 service fee for each pilgrim, remain unresolved. From the Indian side, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the corridor. Meanwhile, Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the project on November 9.
On October 10, Pakistan foreign office spokesman Mohammad Faisal created confusion over the inauguration date by stating that “no date has been fixed so far” while a Pakistani senior official heading the corridor project had announced that Pakistan will allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy Kartarpur Sahib from November 9.