The Kartarpur Corridor would connect Darbar Saheb in Kartarpur, Pakistan with Dera Bibi Nanak in Gurdaspur, India. The corridor would allow the pilgrims to visit the shrines visa-free but with a permit.
Kartarpur is the biggest religious shrine for the Sikh Community as it is the resting place of the first Sikh guru, Guru Nanak. It is said that it was the place where Guru Nanak had assembled and settled the Sikh community after his missionary travels.
The corridor would be opened in November days before Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
India and Pakistan have hostile relations following the series of events that followed the Pulwama Attack earlier in the year. The fragile relationship turned into hostilities after India had decided to abrogate Article 370 and revoke the special status of Kashmir.
The move by Pakistan has been considered by many as a public relations exercise by the government to push away the attention from the mistreatment of its minorities. According to a report in Hindustan Times, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said in a video message, “Former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh is widely resected in India and hails from the Sikh community.”
The invite comes after the Pakistani government had launched an attack on India during its speech in the United Nations General Assembly and accused it of gross human rights violations in Kashmir.
There has been no response from the former Indian prime minister regarding the invite. Given the current situation between the two countries, it would be taken into account by the former prime minister. Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh who earlier had been critical of the corridor would also be going for the pilgrimage once the corridor is opened.
(Inputs from agencies)