Sikhs will soon be able to visit Kartarpur Gurudwara in Pakistan without visas: PM Modi 

Modi released a commemorative coin to mark birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was also present. Photograph:( ANI )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 13, 2019, 12.21 PM (IST) Sidhant Sibal

Prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that Sikhs or anyone from India will soon be able to visit Kartapur Gurudwara in Narowal district of Pakistan without a visa. 

He was speaking at a ceremony where a commemorative coin on Guru Gobind Singh Jayanti was released. 

"It is because of the efforts of central government Kartarpur corridor is being built. Now, Indians and Sikh don't need to use binoculars, they can go to Narowal without visas and can pay respects at the Darbar Sahib," Modi said.

He explained that the corridor is "atonement of the mistake of August of 1947" and "despite the holy site being just a few kilometres away, the important pilgrimage site for Sikhs was not taken (on the Indian side.) The corridor will reduce the damage that was done."

Days after India and Pakistan announced that they build a corridor on the respective sides in November of 2018, PM Modi had then given parallels and said, "Who would have thought that Berlin wall would fall. With the blessings of Guru Nanak Dev ji, Kartarpur corridor will not be just a corridor but will act as a bridge to connect people"

The Indian cabinet had passed a resolution that a corridor will be built from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur District till the border on November 22, 2018. On that day itself, the Ministry of External Affairs also informed Islamabad through Pakistan's high commission in Delhi its decision to build Kartarpur Corridor and urged "Pakistan to develop a corridor in their territory from the International Border to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib."

The Indian Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone on November 26 while Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone on 28 of the same month. The corridor is being built as part of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak which is being celebrated this year. 

Kartarpur Gurudwara is located just 3 kilometres away from the Pakistan- India border and the founder of the Sikh religion, Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji had spent the last 18 years of his life at the location. The Gurudwara holds huge significance for the Sikh community and it had been a long-standing demand of the community to ease the travel to the holy site.

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He explained that the corridor is "atonement of the mistake of August of 1947" and "despite the holy site being just a few kilometres away, the important pilgrimage site for Sikhs was not taken (on the Indian side.) The corridor will reduce the damage that was done."