Indian leaders, including the Indian Punjab chief minister and Punjab Congress president, will be in Pakistan today (Thursday) to tour the Kartarpur Corridor, the Foreign Office spokesperson informed.
The Kartarpur Corridor, which connects Pakistan’s Gurdwara Darbar Sahib to Gurdaspur’s Dera Baba Nanak shrine, reopened on Wednesday.
The COVID-19 outbreak halted pilgrimage to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in March 2020.
India’s news media reported that the first delegation to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur would be led by Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and Punjab Congress President Navjot Singh Sidhu.
Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Om Prakash Soni will also visit Pakistan, the FO added. The trip would include Rajasthan Cabinet Minister Harish Chaudhry and eight Punjab Legislative Assembly members, the FO spokeswoman stated.
Following the Indian government’s decision to restore the Kartarpur Corridor, Channi announced that the state cabinet will be part of the first “jatha” (group) to visit the historic shrine in Pakistan on November 18.
Thousands of Sikh pilgrims from India and throughout the world entered Pakistan on Wednesday to mark Baba Guru Nanak’s 552nd birthday.
For Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary in 2019, the Kartarpur Corridor reopened but was closed last year due to the epidemic.
The Corridor will reopen on Wednesday, ahead of Nanak’s birth anniversary on Friday.
A Pakistani official stated the Pakistani side of the Corridor had never been closed and they were waiting for clearance from the Indian authorities that pilgrims may cross.
The white-domed temple at Kartarpur, Pakistan, had been out of reach of Indian Sikhs for decades due to bad relations between the two countries.
When Pakistan was formed in 1947 after the British left India, Kartarpur was on the Pakistan side of the border, while most Sikhs remained on the other.
After the religious bloodshed that erupted after Partition, only 20,000 Sikhs remain in Pakistan.
To honor Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary, Sikhs and Hindus alike hold communal feasts known as langars.