Kartarpur Corridor opens today — a timeline

9 November, 2019 2:43 pm IST
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The Kartarpur Corridor opens Saturday connecting Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab in India. The day marks the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism. Kartarpur is believed to be the first Sikh Guru’s final resting place where he breathed his last on 22 September 1539.

Sikh pilgrims and political leaders have been demanding access to this historically and religiously significant place since Partition.

February 1999

The then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee proposed Kartarpur Sahib Corridor when he took a bus ride to Lahore during a peace initiative with Pakistan.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee bus ride to Lahore

2000

Pakistan agrees to allow Sikh pilgrims from India to visit the shrine visa-free (and without passport) by constructing a bridge from the India side of the border to the shrine.

2005-06

PM Manmohan Singh raises the proposal with then Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, but Islamabad had fails to take the talks forward.

August 2018

Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu attends Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony. Upon his return from Islamabad, Sidhu says that Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa informed him that the Pakistan government would open the Dera Baba Nanak (Kartarpur) corridor on Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.

 Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu attends Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony

November 22

Indian Cabinet approves the Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the Pakistan border.

November 26

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu lays the foundation stone of the Dera Baba Nanak – Kartarpur Sahib Corridor (up to the International Border) at an event at Mann village of Gurdaspur district of Punjab.

Vice President Venkaiah Naidu lays the foundation stone of the Dera Baba Nanak – Kartarpur Sahib Corridor

November 28

Prime Minister Imran Khan lays the foundation stone of the 4-km corridor and sets a deadline for one year to complete work on the corridor.

February 2019

Work on Kartarpur corridor continues despite heightened tensions post the Pulwama attacks and subsequent Balakot strikes.

March 14

A meeting between officials of India and Pakistan to finalise the modalities for setting up a corridor linking the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Gurdaspur district in Punjab commenced in Attari on Thursday. The talks are being held on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border. This is the first meeting between Indian and Pakistani officials to discuss the Kartarpur corridor issue, amid heightened tensions between the two nations over the Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot airstrike. In the meeting, India sought visa-free access for pilgrims.

July 14

Pakistan demands a provision for $20 fee for pilgrims during an official-level meeting on the corridor.

July 18

ICJ gives its verdict and grants India consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav detained in Pakistan. Talks on Kartarpur continues.

Kulbhushan Jadav

August 5

India abrogates Article 370 and 35A scrapping the special status of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcating it into two Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. The move increases tensions between both sides with Pakistan threatening war on India.

September 4

The third round of meetings between delegates of India and Pakistan to discuss and finalise the draft agreement for the operationalisation of the corridor was held. A 20-member Pakistani delegation crossed over to India for the joint secretary-level meeting at Attari in Amritsar. Pakistan insists on charging $20 fee to the pilgrims, which India asks them to waive off. It seemed the talks will get derailed over this issue at that time.

October 21

India agrees to sign the Kartarpur Corridor agreement, but asks Pakistan to reconsider $20 fee.

October 24

Kartarpur Agreement signed – The pact was signed by S.C.L. Das, joint secretary, internal security, in the Indian home ministry, and Mohammad Faisal, director general, South Asia, in the Pakistan foreign office. The pact was signed at the ‘zero line’ on the border.

Kartarpur Agreement signed

November 4

Pakistan released a commemorative stamp for pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara. It also released a song welcoming the pilgrims in the shrine.

November 9

PM Narendra Modi flags off the first batch of more than 500 Indian pilgrims at Dera Baba Nanak.

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