NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Indian government on Tuesday agreed to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor from Wednesday for thousands of Sikh pilgrims ahead of the birth anniversary of the religion’s founder Guru Nanak.
Sikh members of Indian Parliament from the BJP had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open the Kartarpur Corridor, according to the Indian media.
The Kartarpur Corridor, a visa-free crossing allowing Indian Sikhs to visit the temple in Pakistan where Guru Nanak passed away in 1539, first opened in 2019 for Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary but was closed last year because of the pandemic.
India’s Home Minister Amit Shah announced that the corridor will re-open from Wednesday ahead of Nanak’s birth anniversary celebrations this Friday. “In a major decision, that will benefit large numbers of Sikh pilgrims, PM @narendramodi govt has decided to re-open the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from tomorrow,” he said on Twitter.
In a major decision, that will benefit large numbers of Sikh pilgrims, PM @Narendramodi govt has decided to re-open the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from tomorrow, Nov 17.
This decision reflects the immense reverence of Modi govt towards Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and our Sikh community.
— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) November 16, 2021
“I am sure that the govt’s decision to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib corridor will further boost the joy and happiness across the country,” Shah added.
Pakistan authorities had already announced their decision to reopen the corridor earlier this month. The country is likely to allow around 8,000 Sikh pilgrims from around the world to participate in the birthday celebration.
The white-domed shrine in Kartarpur, a small town just four kilometres (2.5 miles) inside Pakistan, had remained out of reach of Indian Sikhs for decades because of hostile relations between the two countries.
Guru Nanak, born in 1469 to a Hindu family near present-day Lahore, is revered both by Sikhs and Hindus who prepare community feasts known as langars to mark his birth anniversary.