Sri Kartarpur Sahib Pilgrimage – Corridor Open
The Kartarpur Corridor: ਕਰਤਾਰਪੁਰ ਲਾਂਘਾ, is a visa-free border crossing and secure corridor,connecting the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan to the border with India. The crossing allows Sikh devotees from India to visit the gurdwara in Kartarpur, 4.7 kilometres (2.9 miles) from the India–Pakistan border without a visa, creating a link which allows pilgrims holding Indian passports to easily visit both the Kartarpur shrine and Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak on the Pakistani side of the border. Pakistani Sikhs are unable to use the border crossing, and cannot access the site without first obtaining an Indian visa or unless they work there.
The Kartarpur Corridor was first proposed in early 1999 by Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif, the prime ministers of India and Pakistan respectively, as part of the Delhi–Lahore Bus diplomacy.
On 26 November 2018, the foundation stone was laid down on the Indian side; two days later, on 28 November 2018, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan did the same for the Pakistani side. The corridor was completed for the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak on 12 November 2019. Khan said “Pakistan believes that the road to prosperity of region and bright future of our coming generation lies in peace”, adding that “Pakistan is not only opening the border but also their hearts for the Sikh community”. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi compared the decision by the two countries to go ahead with the corridor to the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, saying that the project could help in easing tensions between the two countries.
Previously, Sikh pilgrims from India had to take a bus to Lahore to get to Kartarpur, which is a 125 kilometres (78 miles) journey, even though people on the Indian side of the border could also physically see Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur from the Indian side, where an elevated observation platform was constructed.