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Kartarpur corridor to reopen from Wednesday, Punjab Cabinet to pay obeisance on Thursday


CHANDIGARH: India has decided to reopen the visa-free Kartarpur Corridor that links Dera Baba Nanak in the Gurdaspur district of India to Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Narowal of Pakistan, from Wednesday (November 17). 

The entire Punjab Cabinet will pay obeisance at Kartarpur Sahib on November 18 as a part of the first delegation after reopening the corridor.

The decision also comes ahead of the upcoming birth anniversary (Gurpurab) of the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak, on November 19, for which the Centre has already allowed Sikh pilgrims to travel to the Kartarpur gurdwara via the Attari-Wagah border.

Punjab BJP leaders had met PM Modi on Sunday and President of Ram Nath Kovind on Monday demanding opening of the corridor. 

Union Home Minister Amit Shah tweeted, "In a major decision, that will benefit large numbers of Sikh pilgrims, PM @Narendramodi govt has decided to re-open the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from tomorrow, Nov 17. This decision reflects the immense reverence of Modi govt towards Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and our Sikh community."

"The nation is all set to celebrate the Prakash Utsav of Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji on 19th of November and I am sure that PM @NarendraModi govt’s decision to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib corridor will further boost the joy and happiness across the country," he wrote in another tweet.

A senior official at the Kartarpur corridor said, "From tomorrow, the registration will start on the portal for pilgrims who want to visit the Darbar Sahib Gudwara in Kartarpur as it takes four days for the process to complete. The backlog will be cleared first as the application already pending will be cleared. One has to carry the certificate that he/she is fully vaccinated."

The corridor was inaugurated by PM Modi on November 19, 2019, and closed on March 23, 2020, due to the Covid outbreak. However, pilgrims numbering between 5,000 and 17,000 visited the gurdwara daily through the corridor. When the corridor was re-opened on November 19, 2020,  62,690 devotees went through the corridor before it was closed again on April 18, 2021.

Meanwhile, Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi thanked the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister for re-opening the Kartarpur corridor. He said that this is a joyous occasion for the entire Punjabi community in general and Sikh brethren in particular. 

"There could not have been a better occasion than now for the opening of the corridor as thousands of devotees will get the chance to pay their obeisance at the holy shrine on the Guruparab day itself," former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said while thanking PM Modi for the decision.

Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu had demanded the opening of the corridor. The president of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) Bibi Jagir Kaur also wrote to PM Modi in this regard.

Thanking the Union government, Sidhu tweeted, "Welcome step …. The reopening of the Corridor of infinite possibilities … invaluable gift for Nanak naam levas … may the corridor of the Great Guru remain open eternally to shower blessings on one an all …. Sarbat da bhala."

Last week, Pakistan had urged India to reopen the corridor.