Kartarpur Gurudwara-daily 5,000 pilgrims will be allowed to visit the Gurudwara on foot
Pakistan on Sunday agreed in-principle to allow daily 5,000 pilgrims to visit the Gurdwara Kartarpur sahib, both as individuals or in groups, year-long travel for Indian passport holders, on foot.
“It was agreed to allow visa-free travel for the Indian passport holders and OCI cardholders seven days a week. Throughout the year, 5,000 pilgrims will be allowed to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara per day. The pilgrims will be allowed to travel as individuals or in groups and also on foot,” stated a press release from the MEA emphasising that India had urged that the holy shrine should be open to Indian citizens of all faiths.
Home Ministry’s Joint Secretary (Internal Security) S.C.L. Das told reporters here after the second Joint Secretary-level bilateral meeting at Wagah, across the international border in Pakistan.
Pakistan highlighted the infrastructural constraints on their side and conveyed that they may be able to accommodate many of the Indian proposals in a phased manner, he said.
The discussion highlighted the preparatory work under way on both sides of the border for the 550 birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism. India claimed that significant progress had been made in building the necessary infrastructure to handle the pilgrims from India and abroad. Indian raised the demand of allowing 10,000 additional pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara on special occasions. The statement claimed that Indian facilities would handle 15,000 pilgrims a day. The work is expected to be completed by October 31 this year, a week before the celebrations are expected to begin.
The Kartarpur shrine in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the Ravi is where Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, spent his final days, and is highly revered by the Sikh community. It is about 4 km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur.