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Kartarpura braces to welcome Sikh Yatris

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Sunday has congratulated the government for completing Kartarpur Corridor in record time for the celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday.

In a tweet, the premier shared mesmerizing pictures of the newly-constructed corridor and wrote, “I want to congratulate our govt for readying Kartarpur, in record time, for Guru Nanak jee s 550th birthday celebrations.”

Kartarpur ready to welcome Sikh pilgrims, the PM added.

Responding to the tweet of PM Imran, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ahsan Iqbal said, “Be under no illusion Mr (selected) PM. If your govt did it, its fate would have been no different than that of BRT Peshawar project.”

“This project was done from start to finish by Frontier Works Organization (FWO),” he stated.

The PML-N general secretary went on to say that eliminating passport condition means removal of international border control.

He further asked the premier, “Are you going to make an agreement on Narowal land after Kashmir deal?”

Earlier, PM Imran had announced to waive off two requirements for Sikhs coming to Kartarpur from India. He said that the pilgrims would not need a passport and just a valid Identity Card for traveling to Kartarpur. They also no longer have to register ten days in advance, he continued.

PM further said that no fee will be charged on day of inauguration of Kartarpur and on Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s 550th birthday.

It is to be mentioned here that historic opening of Kartarpur Corridor is all set to take place on November 9 after both, India and Pakistan, signed the bilateral agreement on October 24.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a message shared on social media, reiterated that Sikhs from all countries will travel to the world‘s largest Gurdwara.

“This Gurdwara will strengthen local economy […] many jobs will also be created in travelling, religious tourism and hospitality sectors,” he stated. “Buddhists have also been coming to visit different religious spots in Pakistan.”

The historic agreement aims to allow the intending Sikh pilgrims visit Baba Guru Nanak’s shrine – one of Sikhism’s holiest sites in Pakistan where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, died in the 16th Century.

The Sikh minority in India has long sought easier access to the temple, which is just over the border in Pakistan.

5,000 pilgrims shall be permitted to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib through the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on any given day, with an additional provision for more pilgrims on special days including Gurpurab, Baisakhi, etc., subject to capacity.

Considering the agreement, the amount of revenue Pakistan can generate sums up to $100,000 every day and since the corridor will remain open 365 days of the year, it can potentially generate a direct income of USD36.5 million i.e. about Rs5.55 billion per annum.

The shrine is about 4 km (2-1/2 miles) from the border. The crossing and corridor – including a road, bridge over the Ravi River and immigration office – will replace a drawn-out visa process and circuitous journey through Pakistan.–Agencies

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