Kartarpur corridor opening for India’s Sikhs in November – Pakistan

KARTARPUR: In early November, a corridor will open for Indian Sikh pilgrims traveling to a shrine in Pakistan, in time for one of the most sacred festivals of religion.

The visa-free border crossing from India to Kartarpur, Pakistan, will open on November 9, just before the 550th anniversary of the birth of the founder of Sikhism, Baba Guru Nanak, on November 12, Pakistani project director Atif said on Monday. Majeed

The project is a rare recent example of cooperation between the two nuclear powers, which approached the war in February following a militant attack against police in Kashmir, controlled by India. India revoked the special status of its portion of the disputed territory last month, inflaming relations once again.

The Sikh minority community in the state of Punjab, in northern India, and elsewhere, has long sought easier access to the temple in Kartarpur, a town just across the border with Pakistan. The temple marks the site where the guru died.

To get there, travelers must first obtain visas that are difficult to obtain, travel to Lahore or another major city in Pakistan and then drive to the town, which is only four kilometers from the Indian border.

Instead of visas, Sikh pilgrims will receive special permits to access the sanctuary.

Indian pilgrims will pay Pakistan $ 20 to use the corridor, which includes roads, an 800-meter bridge over the Ravi River and an immigration office.

Up to 5,000 Indians will have daily access, with plans to eventually double capacity, Majeed said.

Posted on Dawn, September 17, 2019

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1505591/kartarpur-corridor-opening-for-indias-sikhs-in-november

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