Pakistan to open Kartarpur corridor next year

Islamabad: The Pakistan government on Friday decided to open the Kartarpur corridor next year on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, while briefing the National Assembly today, said that the government decided to open the Kartarpur corridor in 2019, an official statement said.

The response came after India on Thursday issued a Note Verbale to the Pakistan government urging it to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in its territory from the International Border to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is slated to inaugurate the groundbreaking ceremony of the facilities at the crossing on the Pakistan side on November 28.

Kartarpur is a small town in Narowal district, situated about 4 kilometres from the Pakistan-India border, where Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life. Subsequently, Gurdwara Darbar Sahab was built at the site on the Pakistan side and Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak in India, which are visited by thousands of Sikhs every year.

The statement from the Pakistan government added, “This decision can be a step forward in the right direction from conflict to cooperation, animosity to peace and enmity to friendship.”

The cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved to build and develop the proposed corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to the International Border. This would allow pilgrims from India to visit Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur.