Indian government takes decision over re opening of Kartarpur corridor with Pakistan

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Indian government takes decision over re opening of Kartarpur corridor with Pakistan

The Indian government on Tuesday announced reopening of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 19 following the widespread demand from Sikhs as they get ready to celebrate Baba Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary.

Sikh members of 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.

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.

Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Chairperson Dr Amir said that he knows unofficial arrangements are being made by India to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor on November 19, but that Pakistan has not been officially informed as yet by the neighbouring country.

Addressing his weekly press briefing last week, Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said Pakistan had opened the Kartarpur Corridor from its side and India was also expected to allow the Sikh pilgrims desiring to join the upcoming birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak from November 17-26.