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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Sukhbir urges PM Modi to get Kartarpur Corridor reopened

The corridor — which allows Indian pilgrims to undertake visa-free travel to the Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara — was closed on March 16 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: October 31, 2020 9:42:13 am
Sukhbir urges PM Modi to get Kartarpur Corridor reopenedSukhbir said that there was an overwhelming sentiment in the Sikh community that the Kartarpur Corridor should be reopened so that devotees could pay obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. (File photo)

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and direct the Land Ports Authority of India (LPAI) to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor to facilitate Sikh pilgrims wishing to visit Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan on the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

The corridor — which allows Indian pilgrims to undertake visa-free travel to the Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara — was closed on March 16 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the SAD president also urged him to allow visa free pilgrimage to ensure those who do not possess passports could also access the corridor. He said easy access should be given to the pilgrims while enforcing health protocols keeping in view Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary on November 30.

Sukhbir said that there was an overwhelming sentiment in the Sikh community that the Kartarpur Corridor should be reopened at the earliest so that devotees could pay obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib as well as visit the hallowed area where Guru Sahib made a living practicing agriculture for 18 years.

“The Pakistan government had opened the corridor for travel and permission for the same was only awaited from the Indian government,” he said.

The SAD president said prominent pilgrimage sites across the world, which were partially or fully closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have been reopened. He said history was made last year when the Indian government decided to open the corridor and it was inaugurated by the prime minister on November 9 on the eve of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

“Thousands of devotees visited the final resting place of Guru Sahib in the months following this before the corridor was closed temporarily on March 16 this year. I will be grateful if you could intervene in this matter considering that restrictions on paying obeisance at places of worship have been relaxed across the country. This will also be in keeping with the wishes of the Sikh community,” the letter added.

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