India to reopen Kartarpur Corridor for Baba Guru Nanak birth celebrations
The Indian government has finally announced to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor on November 19 following the widespread demand from Sikhs as they get ready to celebrate Baba Guru Nanak's birth anniversary, reported 24NewsHd TV channel.
India has not formally informed Pakistani authorities about its decision to reopen the corridor. However, Sikh Parbhandak Committee has confirmed the development.
Parbhandak Committee member Inder Jeet Singh said India has announced the reopening of the Kartarpur Corridor. Sikh members of the Indian Parliament from the BJP had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open the Kartarpur Corridor, according to the Indian media.
A delegation comprising the Punjab BJP led by president Ashwani Sharma called on Modi Sunday and made an appeal to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor by Gurpurab. Meanwhile, all Sikh organisations across India also asked the government to reopen the corridor, according to sources.
Citing the worsening COVID-19 situation, India had closed the visa-free corridor on March 16, 2020 after imposing strict travel restrictions. Sikh later asserted that the pandemic situation had eased considerably - enough for Sikh pilgrims to get free travel access to Kartarpur Sahib.
The Sikhs in India also gave a deadline of November 19 to the government to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor. They also formed a Sri Kartarpur Sahib Corridor Sangarash Committee (SKSCSC), which had announced to take its movement for the cause to international platforms if the demand was not met by November 19.
Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi has issued around 3,000 visas to Indian Sikh pilgrims to participate in the 552nd birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak in Pakistan from November 17 to November 26, 2021.
Thousands of Sikh pilgrims residing in countries other than India would also be visiting Pakistan to attend the event.