Officials from India and Pakistan on Monday met at the Zero Line along the international border in Punjab’s Dera Baba Nanak sector and discussed the technical aspects to link Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district with Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur. Official sources said officers from the two sides discussed the road alignment of around 5-km-long Kartarpur Corridor. Out of this, nearly 4.5 km will fall in Pakistan’s territory.
Indian officials who participated in the meeting included those from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, National Highways Authority of India and the Land Ports Authority of India.This was the third meeting and the last one held on April 16 focused largely on security aspect of the corridor.Officials say the security is important as the corridor is expected to cater to daily movement of hundreds of pilgrims from India who will be visiting the Sikh shrine inside Pakistan under a visa-free arrangement.
The corridor is expected to be completed before November this year to enable pilgrims to travel to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has been demanding visa-free “khula darshan” at the gurdwara for Indians of all faiths, from India and overseas, all days of the week.
The Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province, located 4.5 km from the border near the Dera Baba Nanak town in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, is significant for the Sikh community as it is here that Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years of his life and is his final resting place.The governments of India and Pakistan are trying to facilitate the travel of pilgrims to offer prayers at the gurdwara, a demand made by the Sikhs for over 70 years.Dera Baba Nanak town is around 260 km from the state capital.
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