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Kartarpur corridor fulfilled dreams of crores of Sikhs: PM Narendra Modi in Punjab

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that millions of Sikh pilgrims will be able to go to the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak in Pakistan’s Kartarpur from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district without any hassle because of his government’s efforts.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Jan 03, 2019 17:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Gurdaspur
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing a rally in Punjab’s Gurdaspur.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was addressing a rally in Punjab’s Gurdaspur.(ANI/Twitter)
         

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that millions of Sikh pilgrims will be able to go to the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak in Pakistan’s Kartarpur from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district without any hassle because of his government’s efforts.

“For 70 years, devotees have been forced to watch the land of their guru through binoculars,” the Prime Minister said while addressing a rally in Punjab’s Gurdaspur. “Adhering to the demand of the crores of Sikh people, the NDA government took the historic decision of building the Kartarpur corridor.”

Vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu had laid the foundation stone for construction of a road corridor linking Dera Baba Nanak with Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur on November 26 last year. And, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan broke the ground for the Kartarpur corridor on November 28 on his side.

Kartarpur Sahib in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province is located across the Ravi River and is about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. It was established by the Sikh Guru in 1522.

A corridor linking India’s border district of Gurdaspur with the historic gurdwara in Pakistan had been a long-pending demand of the Sikh community. Thousands of Sikh devotees from India visit Pakistan every year to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

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The Kartarpur corridor is expected to be completed within six months. The decision to build the corridor by both the countries came ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak this year.

India had proposed the corridor to Pakistan around 20 years ago. PM Modi, while participating in the Gurpurab celebrations on November 23, had said that Kartarpur corridor could be a reason to connect people, adding that the incidents of 1947 should be left behind.

“Seventy years ago during Partition, we were separated from the holy land, it was only a matter of few kilometres. But the government that time couldn’t keep the holy place in India,” PM Modi said.

“Next year, on the anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, festivities will be held in every state and across the world... We are making efforts to ensure that there is no obstacle in reaching the pilgrimage centre,” he said.

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His public rally in Gurdaspur town is a part of the BJP’s campaign to hold 100 rallies ahead of the Lok Sabha elections this year. The PM said the BJP and Akali Dal are constantly working for the welfare of Gurdaspur, as he criticised the Congress for opposing the Kartarpur corridor.

He also paid his tribute to late Bollywood actor and former member of Parliament from Gurdaspur Vinod Khanna. “He wanted to see an advanced and prosperous Gurdaspur. We have to fulfil his dream together,” he said.

First Published: Jan 03, 2019 17:13 IST