ISLAMABAD: For the first time in 70 years, Indian Sikhs will be able to make pilgrimage to their holy site of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib which had virtually been inaccessible for them due to the hostile relations between Pakistan and India.
On Saturday, the first batch of 10,000 pilgrims is set to perform their rituals in the compound of the Gurdwara on the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who envisioned the construction of Kartarpur Corridor a year ago, will inaugurate the much-anticipated overland passage linking the Dera Baba Nana shrine in northwest India’s Gurdaspur with the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan.
Dubbed as ‘Zero Point’, the corridor includes a bridge stretching for one-kilometer over the Ravi River, flowing between the two countries.
Pakistan has announced to allow the visit of 5,000 pilgrims to the shrine every day with additional numbers on special occasions, subject to capacity expansion of facilities.
As a special gesture, the government also waived off requirement of passport and 10-day advance intimation for whole year, a move which has not been warmly welcomed by India.
The stunning white-coloured edifice of Gurdwara Baba Nanak stands tall as a symbol of peace and harmony, despite the discordant relationship between the two neighboring countries.
The inauguration on November 9 coincides with the birth anniversary of the country’s national poet and philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal, who in his poem ‘Nanak’, pays homage to the Sikh spiritual leader.