Modi government’s decision to reopen Kartarpur corridor from tomorrow

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an interaction with a delegation of BJP leaders from Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and New Delhi, who submitted a request for reopening of the Kartarpur Corridor, on Sunday.

The Center has decided to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor, which connects the Indian border with Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, from Wednesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah has announced.

The visa-free 4.7km corridor was closed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a series of tweets, Amit Shah said the reopening of the Kartarpur Corridor will benefit a large number of Sikh pilgrims.

“This decision shows the immense reverence of the Modi government towards Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and our Sikh community. The nation is all set to celebrate the Prakash Utsav of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji on 19th November, and I am sure that the decision of PM Narendra Modi Government to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor will add to the joy and happiness in the entire nation. tweeted.

Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Punjab on Monday met President Ram Nath Kovind and Amit Shah to request the reopening of the corridor.

A delegation of the BJP’s Punjab unit also met Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, seeking his intervention on the reopening of the corridor, which has been closed since March 16, 2020, when the Indian government asked Pakistan to withdraw from Pakistan due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All commuting travel was suspended. -19 pandemic.

Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had also written to Modi and Shah requesting that the Kartarpur Corridor be reopened.

The proposal for the special corridor was first brought back in 1999 by former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his then Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif as part of the Delhi-Lahore bus diplomacy.

Sikh pilgrims from India earlier used to take a bus to Lahore to go to Kartarpur, making the journey about 125 km long.

The Kartarpur Corridor was inaugurated on November 9, 2019 to mark the 550th “Prakash Guruparb (date of birth)” of Guru Nanak.

It has been described by the BJP as one of the many achievements of the Modi government, and it was shown at a recent national executive meeting of the party.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh thanked Modi and Shah for the decision to reopen the corridor. “This will provide an opportunity to thousands of devotees to visit the holy shrine on the occasion of Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Guru Purab,” Singh tweeted.

According to data compiled at the Integrated Check Post set up at Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur, in March 2020, over 59,000 pilgrims visited Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur since March 8 last year since the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor in November 2019 .

The government last Thursday said it expects Pakistan to allow the visit of a group of 1,500 pilgrims this month on the occasion of “Guruparb” or the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam said, “In view of the importance of Guruparb and the sentiments attached to it, it has been decided that a batch of about 1500 pilgrims will visit Pakistan through the Attari-Wagah Integrated Check Post from November 17-26.” Bagchi said on Thursday.

Earlier, in June this year, Pakistan had refused permission for visits on the martyrdom day of Guru Arjan Dev and the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjit Singh – even though both occasions were covered under the 1974 Bilateral Protocol on Religious Visits.