Pakistan has decided to allow fully vaccinated Sikh pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib via the Kartarpur Corridor from next month with strict Covid protocols, ahead of the 482nd death anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak on September 22.
The Kartarpur Corridor has remained closed since March 2020. The Indian government is yet to reopen the corridor, even though both the Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee have repeatedly asked the Centre to do so.
The decision to open the Kartarpur shrine was taken by Pakistan’s National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) due to the approaching death anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak on September 22.
In a release, the NCOC said, “Asad Umer, federal minister for planning development and special initiatives had held a meeting of NCOC on August 10 to discuss movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims through Kartarpur Corridor for religious events in Pakistan. Amid high disease prevalence of Indian Delta variant, India remained in the ‘Category C’ countries list from May 22 to till August 12 21 and essential movement from India to Pakistan were allowed through exemptions. It is clarified that Kartarpur Corridor had never been closed by Pakistan for Indian Sikh pilgrims and Indian Sikh pilgrims kept visiting Pakistan for religious tourism.” (Source IE)