Centre to reopen Kartarpur Sahib corridor from today

As part of the first delegation, the entire Punjab cabinet will visit Kartarpur Sahib on 18 November; Captain Amarinder Singh hails Centre’s move.

In a major decision, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government has decided to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from Wednesday, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Tuesday.

Taking to Twitter, the Union Home Minister said, “In a major decision, that will benefit large numbers of Sikh pilgrims, PM Narendra Modi government has decided to re-open the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from tomorrow, 17 November. This decision reflects the immense reverence of the Modi government towards Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and our Sikh community. The nation is all set to celebrate the Prakash Utsav of Shri Guru Nanak Devji on 19 November and I am sure that PM Narendra Modi government’s decision to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib corridor will further boost the joy and happiness across the country,” added Shah. The corridor was shut in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The visa-free 4.7-kilometre long corridor joins the Indian border to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan. It became operational in 2019 and was inaugurated by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. The reopening of Kartarpur will assist thousands of devotees, largely Sikhs, to visit the final resting place of Guru Nanak in Pakistan. Alternatively, the devotees are visiting the shrine going via the Attari-Wagah border which requires a visa.

Notably, BJP leaders of Punjab recently met Prime Minister Modi and requested for reopening of the corridor.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday announced that the entire Punjab Cabinet will pay obeisance at Sri Kartarpur Sahib on 18 November as a part of first delegation after reopening of Kartarpur corridor. Addressing the gathering during a function to mark the death anniversary of former Punjab Minister and Congress stalwart Sardar Santokh Singh Randhawa here on Tuesday, the Chief Minister profusely thanked the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister for re-opening the Kartarpur corridor ahead of Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Devji. CM Channi said that he had personally taken the issue of reopening of corridor with the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister. He said that this is a joyous occasion for entire Punjabi community in general and Sikh brethren in particular, adding that the entire Punjab Cabinet will pay obeisance at Sri Kartarpur Sahib on 18 November.

The Chief Minister said that Punjab government is on path of resurrection and revolutionary changes are being introduced to provide responsive, transparent and accountable administration in the state. He said that every effort is being made to ensure well being of people by framing pro-people and development oriented policies. CM Channi said that already several initiatives have been taken and other are in the pipeline. Paying floral tributes to Santokh Singh Randhawa, the Chief Minister said that life of this legendary leader is a source of inspiration for millions of people. He said that Sardar Santokh Singh Randhawa was a votary of morality, honesty and value based politics. CM Channi said that Sardar Santokh Singh Randhawa was a popular leader of masses who served the party and state zealously till his last breath.

Thanking the Chief Minister and other dignitaries, the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa in his address said that his family was indebted to all the people especially the Chief Minister who have joined them on this occasion. He also recalled the glorious legacy imbued by him as his father had dedicated his entire life in service of the state and its people. Randhawa also vowed that his family will continue this glorious tradition in coming times for well being of Punjab and its people. On the occasion Cabinet Ministers Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Aruna Chaudhary, MLAs Kuldeep Singh Vaid, Parminder Singh Pinki, Davinder Singh Ghubaya, Kulbir Singh Zira, Amit Vij, Darshan Singh Brar, Pritam Kotbhai, former Punjab Minister and Chairman Punjab Agro Industries Joginder Singh Mann and others were also present.

Former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday thanked PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for reopening the Kartarpur Corridor ahead of the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak DevJi. He said the reopening of the corridor was a long pending demand of the millions and millions of followers of Guru Nanak as it had been closed last year due to the outbreak of the pandemic. “There could not have been a better occasion than now for 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,” Capt Amarinder said in a statement.

Punjab Congress unit president Navjot Singh 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 and all, Sarbat da bhala.”

Hailing the decision to re-open the Kartarpur corridor as historic, president of Punjab BJP Ashwani Sharma said that Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s Gurpurab will be celebrated with great fervour. The high level delegation led by Ashwani Sharma had called on the President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP President J.P. Nada in Delhi in the last two days to push for reopening the corridor which had been closed due to the Covid pandemic, said Ashwani Sharma.