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India May Open Kartarpur Corridor on Gurpurab; Move After PM’s Meeting With Punjab BJP Leaders: Sources

By: Shalinder Wangu

CNN-News18

Last Updated: November 16, 2021, 08:10 IST

New Delhi

A delegation of BJP leaders from Punjab met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI)

A delegation of BJP leaders from Punjab met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on Tuesday. (ANI)

Kartarpur corridor provides a visa-free border crossing for pilgrims from India visiting the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan.

India may consider opening Kartarpur Corridor on the occasion of Guru Nanak Jayanti or ‘Gurpurab’, which falls this year on November 19, CNN-News18 has learnt. This comes after a BJP delegation from Punjab met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Sunday.

Sources said there has been a positive response after the Punjab BJP delegation met PM Modi on Sunday. The delegation said that the PM assured them that the government will look into their demand.

A Sikh Jatha of 1,500 pilgrims will visit Pakistan from November 17-26, but they will go via Wagah-Attari Border and not Kartarpur.

The pilgrimage to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara was suspended in March 2020 because of the Covid-19 outbreak. The Kartarpur corridor provides a visa-free border crossing for pilgrims from India visiting the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan. It links the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in the Gurdaspur district in India.

A delegation of Punjab BJP leaders, led by Harjeet Grewal, met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday with the same request to open the Kartarpur Corridor on the occasion of Gurpurab. Shah reportedly said the government would look into the matter at the earliest.

The Punjab delegation, which met PM Modi on Sunday, comprised 11 leaders from the state, who met the prime minister at his official residence. The delegation conveyed the sentiments of Guru Nanak Dev’s devotees, BJP Punjab unit president Ashwani Sharma said.

“We have requested Prime Minister Modi to reopen the Kartarpur corridor before Gurupurab, which will be celebrated before November 19. And after meeting with him, we are hopeful that it will be opened soon,” Sharma said, adding that the prime minister has assured them that he will look into their demand.

BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh, who was also part of the delegation, said the party leaders from Punjab also thanked Pm Modi for taking landmark initiatives for the well-being of both Punjab and the Sikh community.
BJP vice-president Soudan Singh, general secretary and Punjab in-charge Dushyant Gautam, national secretary Narinder Singh, spokesperson R P Singh Khalsa, and youth wing leader Tejinder Bagga were present in the meeting. Besides them, BJP leaders Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, Daya Sodhi, Bikramjit Singh Cheema, Harjeet Singh Grewal and Santokh Singh Gumtala were present.

Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib is one of the holiest shrines for followers of Sikhism. Its reopening is an emotive issue for poll-bound Punjab. Therefore all parties, including the Congress and the Akali Dal, have been demanding that it be reopened.

(With PTI inputs)

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first published:November 15, 2021, 22:08 IST
last updated:November 16, 2021, 08:10 IST