ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani government has announced to open the 4.7 kilometre-long visa-free Kartarpur Corridor on the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in November.
While inaugurating the project in November 2018, Prime Minister Imran Khan stated, “There have been mistakes on both sides [in the past], but we will not be able to move forward until we break the chains of the past. The past is there only to teach us, not for us to live in.”
Every year thousands of Sikh devotees come from India to Kartarpur to celebrate Baba Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary. Kartarpur is located in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. About three kilometres away from the border with India, Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located on the banks of River Ravi in Pakistan and is the site where the founder of Sikhism, Baba Guru Nanak spent his life’s last 18 years before dying in 1539.
Kartarpur Corridor will provide visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib (the final resting place of Baba Guru Nanak) in Pakistan. Since 1947, when India and Pakistan gained independence from Britain, this is the first time that Indian Sikh pilgrims would be able to travel to Pakistan without a visa.
The proposal was first put forward in 1998 when Pakistan and India agreed to construct a corridor from Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan to Dera Baba Nanak in India — but due to tense relations between the two neighbours, the project could not be materialised.