Fulfilling a long-standing demand of the Sikh Community in the country, the union government has taken concretes steps to build a corridor to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan. The holy site for Sikhs is located in Pakistan and is just 3 km away from the international border.
Briefing the media on the decisions taken in a Union Cabinet meeting, finance minister Arun Jaitley said that Indian government will build the Kartarpur corridor starting from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to the international border. The corridor will be developed as an integrated development project with various modern amenities for devotees. The project will be fully funded by the central government. The government has taken this step as part of the celebration of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
At the same time, Ministry of External Affairs reported that the government of India will be requesting Pakistan government to build a corridor to the shrine in Pakistan and provide an easy and smooth access for Indian pilgrims. Discussion of the corridor is taking place between the two sides for a long time, but it has not progressed much due to the strained relations between the nations.
In keeping with resolution adopted by Cabinet today to commemorate 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji in 2019, we have approached and urged the Pakistan government to recognize the sentiments of Sikh community and build a corridor: MEA on Kartarpur corridor.1/2
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2018
India has approached and urged the Pakistan government to recognize the sentiments of Sikh community and build a corridor with suitable facilities in their territory to facilitate easy & smooth visits of pilgrims from India to Kartarpur Sahib throughout the year. pic.twitter.com/1oq0TWx7bD
— ANI (@ANI) November 22, 2018
A statement issued by the MEA said that government of India urges the government of Pakistan to recognise the sentiments of the Sikh community and to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in its territory from the international border to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.
According to a report by CNN News 18, Pakistan has positively responded to the request by India. As per reports, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will lay the foundation for the corridor in Pakistan side next week, and they aim to complete the construction by September 2019.
#EXCLUSIVE – CNN-News18 gets Pakistan’s first response on #KartarpurCorridor. Pakistani Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI to inaugurate Kartarpur construction work which will be completed by September 2019 | Input: @manojkumargupta | @Zakka_Jacob with more details pic.twitter.com/DtvBDGygdd
— News18 (@CNNnews18) November 22, 2018
The report says that Pakistan has already started acquiring land for the corridor, and an official announcement will be made next week.
Pakistan’s Federal Minister for information and Broadcasting Fawad Hussain Chaudhry tweeted that “Indian Cabinet endorsement of Pakistan’s proposition” on the corridor is a victory of peace lobby in both the countries. He said that it is a step towards the right direction and they hope such steps will encourage the voice of reasons and tranquillity on both sides of the border. This significant tweet indicates Pakistan’s willingness to build the corridor.
Indian Cabinet endorsement of Pakistan’s proposition on #KartarPurBorderOpening is victory of peace lobby in both countries, its a step towards right direction and we hope such steps ll encourage voice of reasons and tranquility on both sides of the border.
— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) November 22, 2018
Recently the union government had also announced that it would install a high-powered telescope on the Indo-Pak border so that devotees can have a full view of the Kartarpur Sahib from the border.