562 pilgrims use Kartarpur corridor on first day

11 Novembre, 2019, 12:34 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • The Kartapur Corridor will be opened on Saturday

The visa-free trip comes despite strained ties between the two countries over the disputed region of Kashmir.

More than 5,000 pilgrims visited Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, which has been developed into a sprawling 4-acre compound covered with while marble.

Indian dignitaries who attended the inauguration ceremony Saturday included former prime minister Manmohan Singh with his wife Gursharan Kaur, Union ministers Hardeep Puri and Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and the latter's husband and former deputy CM of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Known as the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the temple is believed to have been built on the site where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, spent last 18 years of his life before he died there in the 16th century.

On Friday, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Sohail Mahmood likened the opening of the corridor to the fall of the Berlin Wall, saying it could "change the face of South Asia", in the same way that Europe had been changed by the events of 1989.

Singh told reporters that "Today is a historic moment for the Sikh community".

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Earlier in the morning, Prime Minister Modi, while inaugurating his side of the corridor, flagged off hundreds of pilgrims from the Indian border city of Gurdaspur.

The United Nations on Saturday hailed Pakistan's initiative to open Kartarpur Corridor; a border corridor between Pakistan and India, connecting the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, ARY News reported.

"We see this as a positive example of neighbors working together for mutual benefit".

Highlighting the importance of this "impressive" project, Ms Ortagus said in her brief statement: "The State Department welcomes the opening of a new border-crossing between India and Pakistan, the Kartarpur corridor".

India had requested Pakistan not to charge the Indian pilgrims but Pakistan refused to waive the fee.

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