What is the Significance of Kartarpur Corridor on India Pakistan Border

Kartarpur Corridor

Traditional rivals India and Pakistan are going to achieve a historic milestone in peace process by opening Kartarpur corridor on border. The visa free passage will allow Sikh Pilgrims from Indian Punjab to visit and offer prayers at the ancient Gurdwara of Kartarpur located in Narowal District of Pubjab, Pakistan.

Significance of Opening Kartarpur Corridor

Kartarpur Corridor which was proposed in 1988 is a border corridor that will connect Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in India to Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, which is located 3 kilometer from border.

Opening of the corridor will benefit the millions of Sikh devotees who have an urge to visit Kartarpur Gurdwara where Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion spent the last years of his life and where his ashes are reportedly burried. Kartarpur is also said to be the foremost Gurdwara built after the foundation of Sikh religion. Till now the Sikh pilgrims from the Indian side of border used to see this place from the Indian side of border. Now, when the corridor is all set to open, the Sikh pilgrims will be able to visit the Gurdwara without any visa and documentation.

Proposal for Opening Kartarpur Border

Opening of Kartarpur border was first proposed in 1988 but no progress was madeĀ  due to ups and downs in Indo-Pak relations. Governments on both sides of the bar talked about making this small route functional but couldn’t proceed due to obstacles like Kargil War, Mumbai Bomb blasts and accusations of proxy wars from each sides on each side.

Recently, when ex-Indian cricketer and Congress MP Navjot Singh Sidhu attended Imran Khan’s oath taking ceremony in Islamabad then Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa told him that Pakistan was willing to open Kartapur border on the eve of Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday celebrations.

Later, Indian government also agreed to opening the corridor to faciliate its citizens. On November 26, 2018 ceremony was held on Indian side of border where Indian Vice President Vankaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone for corridor.

The Opening Ceremony for Kartarpur Border Corridor

Pakistan will lay the foundation stone for Kartarpur corridor on 28 November, 2018. The country’s foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also invited his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj who declined the invitation on grounds of busy schedule due to upcoming elections in India.

In her tweet Sushma Swaraj thanked Shah Mehmood Qureshi and told to send her ministers to Pakistan for groundbreaking ceremony.

Kartarpur corridor between India and Pakistan will not only benefit the Sikh pilgrims but it will also boost the economy on both sides of the borders. Further, it will serve as a peace initiative between India and Pakistan and offer future generations a point to ponder on the shared history and commonalities which are strong enough to forget the current disputes between two nations.

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