(Press Release) – Gurdwara Darbar Sahib is the holiest place of the Sikh community. The Kartarpur Corridor is a visa-free border crossing and corridor, connecting the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan to the border with India. The crossing allows Sikh devotees from India to visit the gurdwara in Kartarpur, 4.7 kilometres from the India–Pakistan border on the Pakistani side.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan had formally inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor on 9 November 2019, paving the way for Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit one of their religion’s holiest sites in Pakistan without needing a visa.
With this opening of Corridor, the long standing demand of the Sikh community of India and around the world was fulfilled.
The opening ceremony was spectacular. Former Indian Prime Minister Sardar Manmohan Singh, Chief Minister of Indian Punjab Amrinder Singh, Congress leaders, renowned cricketer and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s friend Navjot Singh Sidhu and Bollywood actor Sunny Deol also attended the ceremony.
The Sikh pilgrims were all appreciative of the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa which made this longstanding demand of the Sikh community fulfilled.
On this occasion, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said a true leader is one who always brings people together and does not spread hate in order to gain votes.
Addressing on the occasion, former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu had thanked Prime Minister Imran Khan for taking a bold step to build the Kartarpur Corridor “without looking at gains and losses”.
Pakistan’s gesture to promote interfaith harmony was duly appreciated by world leaders including UN Secretary General.
In what may be called the world’s ‘longest’ ever pilgrimage, it took almost 72 years to the Indian Sikhs to make it to one of their holiest shrines located just 4.1 kilometers from the border in Pakistan.
The corridor leads the pilgrims straight to the Gurdwara where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life before he died there in 1539.
The opening of the Corridor coincided with the birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday.
The construction of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor and renovation of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, which has now become the world’s largest Sikh Gurdwara, was completed in record time. The ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor was held on November 28, 2018.
Spread over around 400 acres, the Kartarpur Complex currently consists of a new courtyard, langar khanas, museum, library, dormitories, locker rooms, an immigration centre and an embankment to protect the temple from the floods.
Pakistan announced to allow visit of 5,000 pilgrims to the shrine everyday with additional numbers on special occasions, subject to capacity expansion of facilities.
As a special gesture, the government also waived off the requirement of passport for Sikh pilgrims and 10-day advance intimation for whole year.
The opening of the Corridor is also realization of the dream of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who had been the strong advocate of the minorities’ rights in Pakistan and had said, “You are free; you are free to go to your temples. You are free to go to your mosques or to any other places of worship in this State of Pakistan.
You may belong to any religion, caste or creed—that has nothing to do with the business of the state.”
The stunning white-coloured edifice of Gurdwara Baba Nanak stands tall as a symbol of peace and harmony despite a relation full of discords between the two neighboring countries.
The Government of Pakistan had acquired around 800-acre land and handed over the same to the Gurdwara management as a gift. Out of which, 42 acres were allocated for the construction of Gurdwara Complex and 62 acres for the agriculture purpose to meet the needs of the Langar Khana.
The Gurdwara has been built in record time of 10 months, with high quality construction along with white marble and imported tiles.
The short documentary shows the pilgrimage of a Sikh Yatree who had been longing to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib for his whole life. His dream came true with the opening of the Kartarpur Corridorby Pakistan when he visited the holy site and met the people of Pakistan. He is enthralled by the love and hospitality extended to him by the Pakistanis.