Pakistan to reopen Kartarpur Corridor for Sikh pilgrims


As places of worship open up across the world, Pakistan prepares to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for all Sikh pilgrims, says FM Qureshi. Photo: File 

Foreign   Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on   Saturday   said   Pakistan will reopen the Kartarpur Corridor for all Sikh pilgrims on June 29.

“As places of worship open up across the world, Pakistan prepares to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for all Sikh pilgrims, conveying to the Indian side our readiness to reopen the corridor on 29 June 2020, the occasion of the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh,” Qureshi tweeted.

The Foreign Office in a statement said the Kartarpur Corridor was a true symbol of peace and religious harmony.

“This landmark initiative by the government of Pakistan has been immensely appreciated by the Sikh community all over the world including India. The first Guru of Sikhism, Baba Guru Nanak Saheb, had spent the last 18 years of his life in Kartarpur,” the Foreign Office added.

The Corridor was temporarily closed on March 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As the religious places are gradually opening up around the world, Pakistan has also made necessary arrangements to reopen Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for Sikh pilgrims,” it added.

Pakistan has invited India to work out necessary SOPs for reopening of the Corridor to ensure adherence to the health guidelines, the Foreign Office added.  

Visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur had been suspended for Sikh pilgrims in April by Pakistan as the country battled the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this week, the country reopened the Wagah border between the two countries for three days to repatriate stranded Indians in Pakistan.

According to the interior ministry 748 Indians stranded in Pakistan due to the coronavirus lockdown were to return to their country in three phases.

In the first and second batches, 250 Indian nationals each were repatriated while the third batch was made up of the remaining 248 Indian nationals, the interior ministry said, adding the Indian nationals were in different cities of Pakistan.

Pakistan on March 19 had closed the Wagah Border in its bid to prevent the spread of the virus in the country.

Work begins on first Hindu temple in Islamabad

On Friday Prime Minister Imran Khan approved the release of funds for the construction of the first Hindu temple in Islamabad.

In a meeting with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MNAs Jay Parkash, Shanila Ruth, Laal Chand, Ramesh Kumar and Jamshed Thomas, the prime minister issued directives for accelerating the legislation process to protect minorities’ rights.

The temple is being constructed in the federal capital’s H-9/2 sector on a four-kanal plot of land allocated especially by the government.

The prime minister lauded the contribution of the minority community in the progress and prosperity of Pakistan and said it was the government’s priority to ensure the provision of equal opportunities for minorities and to protect their rights.



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