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Access Mode for Indian Devotees Headed for Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan Yet to be Decided

PTI

Last Updated: January 18, 2019, 21:10 IST

File photo of Hardeep Singh Puri (Image: PTI)

File photo of Hardeep Singh Puri (Image: PTI)

"Whether access will be given to them by using passport as a travel document or VISA will be applied, are issues that are to be discussed bilaterally between the two countries. It is yet to be finalised," Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri told reporters.

New Delhi: Union minister Hardeep Singh Puri said on Friday the mode of access for Indian devotees headed for Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan, is yet to be decided by the two countries.

"Whether access will be given to them by using passport as a travel document or VISA will be applied, are issues that are to be discussed bilaterally between the two countries. It is yet to be finalised," Puri told reporters.

He said that a decision has been taken that access from the Indian side the main road which goes up to Kartarpur Sahib will be completed in a time-bound manner.

After the Cabinet decision on November 22, 2018, a number of steps have been taken and one of them is to open the Kartarpur corridor, he said.

"We have so far decided that the access from our side the main road which goes up there (Kartarpur Sahib), and the specific corridor, we will complete in a time-bound manner."

The four-km corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak in India's Gurdaspur district with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Narowal in Pakistan. It will provide access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to the historic shrine in the neighbouring country.

Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, is believed to have spent more than 18 years of his life there. The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located on the banks of Ravi river, about three-four kilometres from the Indo-Pak border.

Puri lamented that the cartographer who drew the boundary between India and Pakistan after separation, must have been "insensitive" as he carved out the place belonging to Guru Nanak from India.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the corridor was performed by Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan, in November last year.

On Indian side, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Gurdaspur last year.

first published:January 18, 2019, 21:10 IST
last updated:January 18, 2019, 21:10 IST