Graphic shows map and facts about the Kartarpur Corridor.
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POLITICS

Sikhs welcome long-waited Kartarpur Corridor

By Jordi Bou

November 9, 2019 - The Kartarpur Corridor will permit visa-free access for Sikh pilgrims from India to Kartarpur in Pakistan, home to one of Sikhism’s holiest shrines, in a rare cooperation between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

The Kartarpur Corridor will permit visa-free access for Sikh pilgrims from India to the Pakistani town of Kartarpur, home to a temple that marks the site where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, died. India’s Sikh minority has long sought easier access to the temple in Kartarpur, located just over the border in Muslim-majority Pakistan.

The corridor will link the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with the Dera Baba Nanak Gurdwara in Gurdaspur, on the Indian side of the border.

Indian pilgrims will just have to obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev. The corridor will be open by the time of the 550th anniversary of his birth on Nov 12.

The shrine is 4.7km (2.9 miles) from the border. The corridor, including a road, bridge over the Ravi River and immigration office, will replace a drawn-out visa process and circuitous 125km (78-mile) journey via Lahore.

The collaboration comes at a time of tension between the rival nations, with Pakistan aggrieved over recent Indian government measures in its half of the divided Muslim-majority region of Kashmir.

In August, India revoked special autonomy in Indian-controlled Kashmir and instigated a crackdown on dissent in the region, angering Pakistan.

PUBLISHED:30/10/2019; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images, Raja Ravi Varma
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