‘India, Pak should swap land for pilgrims’
With the India-Pakistan Kartarpur corridor connecting two historic Sikh shrines across the border yet to take off, a Congress MP from Punjab has proposed swap of land between the two countries.delhi Updated: May 18, 2012 01:25 IST
With the India-Pakistan Kartarpur corridor connecting two historic Sikh shrines across the border yet to take off, a Congress MP from Punjab has proposed swap of land between the two countries.
Gurdaspur MP Partap Singh Bajwa has suggested India could part with a certain area of land along the border in exchange for the area in Pakistan in which Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, where the first Sikh Guru spent his last days, is located.
In 1962, India gave 12 villages near Sulemanki Headworks in Fazilka district to Pakistan in exchange for the land where Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru were cremated.
But the statues erected at the national martyrs' memorial were taken away by the Pakistan army during 1971 war and have not been returned till now.
“Taking a cue from this, I would request PM Singh, who himself is a devout Sikh, to propose the swap of land to Pakistan for a hassle-free environment for Sikh pilgrims from all over the world to pay obeisance at the shrine,” he said.
In 1999, India and Pakistan had agreed to construct a corridor linking Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district with Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak spent last 18 years of his life, in Narowal at a distance of 4.5 km from the international border to allow free movement for Sikh pilgrims without passport or visa.
The movement is restricted and only few people manage to get the permission (visa) to travel via Wagah border.