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Pakistan Premier Imran Khan inaugurates Kartarpur Corridor

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurating the Kartarpur Corridor and Renovated Gurudwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpura.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor project that would give visa-free access to the Indian Sikhs to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.

He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Interior Minister Brig (retd) Ijaz Shah, Religious Affairs Minister Pir Nurul Haq Qadri, special assistants Dr Firdous Ashiq and Zulfiqar Bukhari, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, and diplomats.

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 were also part of the group. They were received by Pakistan PM imran Khan.

The opening of the Corridor coincides with the birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday to be celebrated on November 12 when the arrival of Sikh pilgrims from across the world is expected.

In another co-incidence, Pakistan was also celebrating on Saturday the birth anniversary of its national poet Allama Muhammad Iqbal, also the great admirer of Baba Guru Nanak.

In his philosophical poetry, ‘Bang-e-Dara’ Allama Iqba had spoken high of Guru Nanak’s broader outlook of religion. “Phir uthi aakhir sada Tauheed ki Punjab say, Hind ko ab ek mard-e-kaamil ne jagaya khuwab se,” which translates “Again, the voice of Tawheed has arisen from the Panjab; And thus, a perfect man has awaken India from her dogmatic slumber.” In the same book, the great poet said, “Chishti ne jis zameen men paigham-e-haq sunaya; Nanak nay jis chaman men wahdat ka geet gaya” means “The place where Chishti gave his message of truth to the people; The place where Nanak sung a song of oneness of God.”

As the gate built on Pak-India border was opened, the smiling Sikh pilgrims walked into Pakistan with traditional turbans and holding kirpan (small sword) in their hands. The pilgrims were later driven to the venue of the inauguration ceremony after going through immigration and security checks. At the terminal, the staffers were alert to swiftly accomplish the screening process.

The Yatrees, who so far had been content of viewing their holiest shrine from binocular towers built in Gurdaspur district of Indian Punjab, would now be able to quench their thirst of the holiest pilgrimage.

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.”

Prime Minister Imran Khan interacts with Former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singhe during the inauguration ceremony of  Kartarpur Corridor Renovated Gurudwara Darbar Sahib.

Prime Minister Imran Khan being briefed on the Kartarpur Corridor project.

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