Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has sought a waiver of passport condition for devotees seeking to pay obeisance at Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.
In a letter written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Amarinder requested that the condition of mandatory passport for devotees, seeking to cross the Kartarpur corridor, be waived to facilitate pilgrimage to the historic gurdwara located in Pakistani territory.
The chief minister requested the Modi government to put in place a simple procedure which would facilitate “khulle darshan deedar” (free access) of Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, in keeping with the traditional ‘Sikh Ardas’ (prayer).
He also urged the Centre to finalise the alignment of road access and the infrastructure to be built around the corridor so that the process of acquisition may be commenced without any further delay, ensuring early operatlionalisation of the historic passage.
A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said Amarinder has, in his letter, suggested the central government that any other valid government document such as Aadhar may be used in place of passports for identification to enable the maximum number of pilgrims to visit the Sikh shrine.
Noting that the Union Ministry of Home Affairs should be currently engaged in working out the operational modalities of the Kartarpur corridor, to be opened as part of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in 2019, the CM said the system applied should also provide for day-to-day prayers and ‘Akhand and Sehaj Path’, which the devotees may like to undertake at the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara.
The much-awaited corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur — the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev — with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev.