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India likely to reopen Kartarpur Corridor with Pakistan ahead of Guru Nanak’s birthday

The decision to reopen the Corridor, which was shut down by India due to the pandemic in March 2020, was taken after a delegation of Punjab BJP leaders met Home Minister Amit Shah.

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New Delhi: India is planning to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor, which was shut down in March 2020 owing to the Covid pandemic, on the occasion of 552nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

According to official sources, the Corridor — which connects Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur, Punjab with the Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Narowal, Pakistan — may get opened from India’s side by the end of this week. Darbar Sahib is the final resting place of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak.

The final call, sources said, will be taken jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Home Affairs after assessing the security status.

The decision, sources said, came after a delegation led by BJP Punjab president Ashwani Sharma met Home Minister Amit Shah Monday urging him to reopen the corridor, and handed over a memorandum on the issue.

The delegation also met President Ram Nath Kovind.

Pakistan announced last week that it has issued around 3,000 visas to Indian Sikh pilgrims to participate in the 552nd birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak in Pakistan from 17-26 November 2021.

Also read: How Kartarpur Corridor talks went on despite India-Pakistan tension, diplomatic roadblocks

Covid-related protocols to be followed

Sources said the government is likely to announce the mechanism of reopening the Corridor soon as the pilgrims will have to follow all Covid-related protocols in order to travel.

The pilgrims might also be asked to furnish their Covid vaccine certificates.

Pakistan had opened their side of the Kartarpur Corridor in June 2020, which India had said was an attempt by Islamabad to create a “mirage of goodwill” as that country was yet to build the bridge at zero line that was promised initially.

The corridor was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on 9 November 2020. An agreement was signed between India and Pakistan for Kartarpur Corridor on 24 October 2018 between the Ministry of Home Affairs and Pakistan’s Foreign Office.

(Edited by Neha Mahajan)

Also read: The religious and historical significance of Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara


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