Katar pur corridor, 4.7 km connection between India and Pakistan is now opened

The inauguration of historic Katar pur corridor

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Kartar pur corridor’s ground braking ceremony in Pakistan was a special India -Pakistan government initiative.

The Kartarpur Corridor is a border corridor between the neighbouring nations of India and Pakistan, connecting the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib (located in the Indian side of the Panjab) and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartar pur (in the Pakistani side of the Panjab).  The corridor  allows religious devotees from India to visit the Gurdwara in Kartar pur, 4.7 kilometres (2.9 miles) from the Pakistan-India border, without a visa.

Pakistani Panjab is primarily Muslim, speaking panjabi written in the Urdu script. However Indian Panjab is primarily Sikh, speaking panjabi written in the Hindi script. Until now Sikh worshipers from India required a visa to cross the boarder to Sikh religious grounds in Pakistan.

The Kartarpur Corridor was first proposed in early 1999 by prime ministers of Pakistan and India, Nawaz Sharif and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, respectively, during the Delhi–Lahore Bus (Sada-e-Sarhad) initiative between India and Pakistan.

The corridor was completed on schedule, before the 550th anniversary of the Sikh Guru Nanak Dev in November 2019. Meaning that not only was the work completed on time, but with 12 months left to spare, and on budget! Something many western countries will be scratching their heads at.

The prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, compared the decision to go ahead with the corridor by the two countries to the fall of the Berlin Wall, saying that the project may help in easing tensions between the two countries.

During the inauguration of this historic moment bilateral presence and a joint broadcast from Lahore  took place.

Lahore-based historian, Fakir S. Aijazuddin, characterised it as a “unique experiment” in cross-border ties between India and Pakistan. The universality symbolised by Guru Nanak can bring the people of all religions together.

Does this mark a new beginning of Indo- Pak ties?

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About the Author

Michael Al-Said
News correspondent for Al-Sahawat Times since 2012