ISLAMABAD, Nov 17, (Asia Free Press) : Pakistan on Thursday welcomed thousand Sikh pilgrims who arrived in the country for across the world for the birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.
In a statement, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, said that his country had reopened the Kartarpur Corridor on June 29 last year after temporary suspension of about three months due to Covid-19 pandemic.
However, India had kept the Corridor closed from its side for nearly 20 months, and has only now allowed it to be re-opened.
“Sikh community from India and around the world had been urging the opening of the Corridor. Pakistan had also proposed formally to India to reopen the corridor in respect of the wishes and sentiments of the pilgrims,” Qureshi said.
Thousands of Sikhs pilgrims from different countries including India have gathered in a small city of Pakistan’s northeastern Punjab province, to celebrate the 552nd birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of their religion.
The 10-day celebrations that started from Thursday today will be continued till Nov. 27 in Nankana Sahib district — the birthplace of Baba Guru Nanak- located around 80 kilometers (49 miles) from Lahore, the capital of northeastern Punjab province.
Indian government also reopened the Kartarpur corridor just hour before the celebration after expected reaction from Sikh community.
The visa-free corridor provides access to the Indian pilgrims to the Gurudwara Darbar Singh in Pakistan. It became operational in 2019 and was inaugurated by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.