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What are Pakistan intentions on opening Kartarpur Corridor:

What are Pakistan intentions on opening Kartarpur Corridor:

Kartarpur Corridor

The Kartarpur Corridor is connecting Pakistan to the border of India through Gurdwara Darbar Sahib which is a visa-free border crossing. The Indian devotees are allowed to visit Gurdwara in Kartarpur through this crossing without any visa and it is 2.9 miles far from the India-Pakistan border from the Pakistan side. But then Pakistan Sikhs need to have an Indian Visa or they must be working in India to cross the border or to access the Dera Baba Nanak which is on the Indian side. The Indian and Pakistani prime minister’s respectively, Atla Bihar Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif first proposed the Kartarpur Corridor in early 1999 as part of the Delhi Lahore bus diplomacy. On the Indian side, the foundation stone for Kartarpur Corridor was laid on the 26th of November 2018, and two days later 28th of November 2018, Imran Khan, Pakistani prime minister, did the same on the Pakistan side. Their Corridor was successfully completed on 12 November 2019 on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak. Now, Indians from the Indian side of the border can see Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur from the Indian side through the construction of an elevated observation platform.

In the month of November 2019, near Narowal district, a media reporter from Indian security agencies had identified the campaign of JeM terrorists near the location of Gurdwara. The Indian claims are rebutted by the Foreign Office of Pakistan as baseless propaganda. Against the dirty politics of Pakistan, the Sikh pilgrims voiced their sentiments which were in the name of the guru. A highly criticized act was played by Pakistan in 2019. This is where they displayed an unexploded bomb inside the premises of Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara along with a banner alleging that bomb was dropped by the Indian Air Force attempting to destroy the gurudwara during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971. This region was divided between India and Pakistan during the partition in 1947. The Akali Dal placed its demand in 1948 that India should acquire the entire land of Gurdwaras in Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur instead of sharing it with Pakistan. But under the control of the Indian National Congress, Punjab State advised against any modification about the boundary which was made and fixed by the Radcliffe Award. Followed by partition for many years then Indian visitors visited Kartarpur by crossing a bridge named Jassar which is on the Ravi river informally. Until 1965, there wasn’t any strict enforcement of border control between the two countries.

Covid at Kartarpur Corridor:
India had been placed in the C category in Pakistan because of the delta variant in India. From May 22 to August 12 including Sikh pilgrims, special approval was required for the people coming from India. Rapid antigen test (RAT) is conducted in airports for everyone, in case of positive results that individuals will not be allowed to enter Pakistan. To open the Kartarpur shrine the decision was taken by the National Command and Operation Center, because of the approaching Guru Nanak Dev death anniversary on September 22.

The re-opening of Kartarpur Corridor:
On the upcoming event of Guru Nanak Dev’s birthday, Pakistan urged India to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor from the Indian side and allow Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy place on November 9. According to the foreign office the Kartarpur Corridor was inaugurated by Imran Khan. Soon after the opening of Kartarpur Corridor, the place was hit by a coronavirus pandemic along with the entire world.
In March 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the movement of pilgrims through the corridor was suspended, citing the COVID-19 cases of April 2021 the neighboring country has banned all traveling from India. The foreign office said that India is yet to open the corridor from its side, allowing the pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib. Also said it would be looking forward to devotees from India and around the world hosting the upcoming event of Guru Nanak Dev’s birthday celebrations from 17th to 26th of November. To this statement, Pakistan added that it is expecting India to allow the pilgrims to visit Kartarpur by traveling through the Jassar bridge.

To visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Indian pilgrims are allowed to Kartarpur Corridor without any visa which is 4 kilometers long. In the early 16th century, the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev was found to have lived and died at this Kartarpur place. Rapid antigen test (RAT) will be conducted at the airport apart from this, in the case of positive results that individual will be restricted from entering Pakistan.