PM Modi to inaugurate Kartarpur Corridor PTB on Saturday


New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the state-of-the-art Passenger Terminal Building (PTB) Complex at Kartarpur Corridor in Dera Baba Nanak of Punjab’s Gurdaspur district on Saturday.

Earlier this week, Home Minister Amit Shah had on Twitter urged people to “witness history being created” on November 9 with the inauguration of the corridor.

“With opening of Kartarpur Sahib corridor, when we are marking Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s 550th Parkash Purab, PM @narendramodi has realised the long-cherished dream of millions. On 9th, let’s witness history being created as PM @narendramodi dedicates this corridor to the nation,” read Shah’s tweet from November 6.

The much-awaited corridor will have all the necessary passenger amenities to facilitate pilgrims intending to visit the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.
The design and quality parameters also have been prepared to keep in view the aspirations and religious sentiments of the followers of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism.

The design of the PTB Complex has been inspired by the symbol ‘Khanda’ which represents the values of oneness and humanity. It is supposed to have adequate immigration and customs clearance facilities to process the smooth movement of approximately 5,000 pilgrims per day.

Furthermore, the complex will have open areas for kiosks, cloakrooms and adequate parking space. The passage up to the Zero Point on the International Border will also be covered.

India and Pakistan had on October 24 signed an agreement on the modalities for operationalising the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, paving way for its inauguration ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of the Sikh Guru.

The corridor will facilitate visa-free movement but Indian pilgrims are required to carry their passports and will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, which was established by Guru Nanak Dev in 1522.

The foundation stone for the Kartarpur Corridor was laid down on the Indian side on November 26, 2018. Two days later, the foundation stone was laid on the Pakistani side.

However, Pakistan has not agreed to India’s demand to make the Kartarpur Gurdwara’s visit charge-free.

Following a low-key ceremony to sign the agreement, India had expressed disappointment at Pakistan’s refusal to waive USD 20 service charge on Indians visiting Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara and urged it to reconsider its decision given the “religious and spiritual sentiments” of the pilgrims.

According to the Home Ministry, the agreement, which lays a formal framework for operationalising the corridor, stated that Indian pilgrims of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor. The travel will be visa-free and pilgrims need to carry only a valid passport. Persons of Indian-Origin need to carry OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) card along with the passport of their country.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will also inaugurate the other side of the Kartarpur Corridor on the same day, apart from other events that will be hosted to mark Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary. (ANI)