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Sunday, December 08, 2019

Proposal to fruition: A 2-decade journey of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib

First proposed by then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1999, it took 20 years of diplomatic and political efforts to open the Kartarpur Corridor linking Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: November 10, 2019 1:18:51 am
Proposal to fruition: A 2-decade journey of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib Kartapur: In this undated handout photo, a view Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. (PTI Photo)

1522

First Sikh master, Guru Nanak Dev establishes Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib; he is believed to have died in Kartarpur.

1999

February: Then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee proposes the Kartarpur Corridor after taking a bus ride to Lahore during a peace initiative with Pakistan.

2000

Pakistan agrees to allow Sikh pilgrims from India to visit the shrine visa-free (and without passport) by constructing a bridge from Indian side of the border to the shrine.

2018

August 15: Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu attends Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony in Islamabad.

August 21: Upon his return, Sidhu says that Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa informed him that the Pakistan would open the Dera Baba Nanak (Kartarpur) corridor on Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.

November 22: Indian Cabinet approves the Kartarpur Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the Pakistan border.

November 26: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu lays the foundation stone of Dera Baba Nanak – Kartarpur Sahib Corridor (up to the International Border) at an event at Mann village of Gurdaspur district of Punjab.

November 28: Prime Minister Imran Khan lays the foundation stone of the 4-km corridor on the Pakistan side.

December 3: Pakistan opens immigration centre at the Kartarpur border.

March 14: The first meeting between officials of India and Pakistan on Kartarpur Corridor takes place at Attari on the Indian side of the border.

March 19: India, Pakistan hold technical talks, discuss coordinates.

March 29: India conveys concerns to Pakistan over presence of a Khalistani separatist on Kartarpur panel.

April 16: Experts and technicians from Pakistan and India hold technical meeting on Corridor at Zero Point (Kartarpur).

May 27: India, Pakistan officials meet, discuss modalities for Corridor.

July 8: Pakistan welcomes Indian media to attend second meeting on Corridor.

June 11: Pakistan allocates Rs 100 crore in 2019-20 budget for Corridor project.

July 14: Pakistan and India hold second round of the talks on the Corridor in Wagah; India gives Pakistan dossier on possible attempts to disrupt Kartarpur Sahib pilgrimage.

August 30: Technical talks between Pakistan and India takes place at Zero Point.

September 4: Third round of talks between officials from Pakistan and India on the corridor at Attari.

October 20: Imran Khan announces to open Corridor on November 9.

October 21: India express ‘disappointment’ over Pakistan’s $20 fee for Kartarpur Sahib but ready to ink pact.

October 24: India, Pakistan sign agreement to operationalise the Kartarpur Corridor.

October 30: Pakistan issues Rs 50 commemorative coin to mark Guru Nanak’s 550th anniversary.

November 1: No need for passport for Sikh pilgrims from India visiting Kartarpur, says Pakistan PM.

November 4: Sikh separatists, including Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, feature in Pakistan’s official video on Kartarpur; India objects.

November 5: Sikh pilgrims from India visit Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan, install golden palanquin.

November 6: India asks Pakistan to clarify if passport will be required for Kartarpur visit amidst confusion over the issue.

November 7: Pakistan Army says Indian Sikh pilgrims will require passport to visit Kartarpur; India says will stick to agreement on visits by Indian pilgrims.

November 8: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi says will not charge $20 fee from Indian pilgrims on November 9 and 12

November 9: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off the first batch of over 550 Indian pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, also inaugurates Integrated Check Post; Imran Khan inaugurates the Corridor on Pakistani side.

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