The Kartarpur Corridor is an under-construction border corridor that is situated between the neighboring nations of India and Pakistan, connecting the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib–located in Punjab, India– and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur–in Punjab, Pakistan. Currently it is under planning the corridor is intended to allow the religious devotees from India to visit the Gurdwara in Kartarpur, 4.7 kilometers which is around 2.9 miles from the Pakistan-India border, without a visa.

The Kartarpur Corridor was the first that was  proposed in early 1999 by the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif, respectively, as an integral part of the Delhi–Lahore Bus diplomacy.

On 26 November 2018 it was said that the foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor was laid down on the Indian side. It was exactly two days later the foundation stone was laid down on the Pakistani side. The corridor shall reportedly be completed before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji in the month of November 2019.

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Kartarpur Corridor Opening Date and Time:

The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan compared the decision to go ahead with the corridor by the two countries to the fall off the Berlin Wall, mentioning that saying that the project may help in easing the real tensions between the two countries. However it has been seen that the Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat reported on 28 November 2018 that Kartarpur should be viewed in complete isolation and not linked to anything else completely adding that it was majorly a unilateral decision.

Currently pilgrims from India have to take a bus to Lahore to step down at Kartarpur, which is altogether a 125 km journey. Although it is observed that people on the Indian side of the border can physically see Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur on the Pakistani side. Here an elevated platform has also been constructed for the same on the Indian side where people generally use binoculars to get a good view.

The first guru of Sikhism Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, founded Kartarpur in 1504 CE on the right hand side bank of the Ravi River and established the very first Sikh commune there. Following his death in 1539 Hindus and Muslims both perpetually claimed him as their own and raised two mausoleums in his memory with a common wall between them. The most noticeable part of the system was that the changing direction of the Ravi River eventually washed away the mausoleums. A new habitation was formed representing the present day Dera Baba Nanak on the left hand side of the Ravi River.

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Kartarpur Corridor Controversies:

During the 1947 partition of India the region was entirely divided between India and Pakistan. The Radcliffe Line awarded the Shakargarh tehsil on the right bank of the Ravi River, including Kartarpur to Pakistan and the Gurdaspur tehsil on the left hand side of the bank of Ravi to India.

After partition it was believed that Indian Sikhs would go over to Kartarpur informally, crossing a bridge on the Ravi river which later joined Dera Baba Nanak with Kartarpur Sahib. This bridge was said to be eventually destroyed in the Indo-Pakistan war of 1965.

Recently Union Minister Harsimrat Badal reported that very soon Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the much-awaited Kartarpur corridor to Sri Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan on November 8,. She also reported that Modi will inaugurate the integrated check post on the Indian side.

“With the blessings of shri Guru Nanak Dev ji Sikh Panth’s ardaas for- khule darshan deedar- of Sri Kartarpur Sahib to finally become one of the reality. On November 8th  history shall once again be created with PM Narendra Modi ji inaugurating the Kartarpur corridor- ICP-tweeted by Badal .

She further announced that what could not have been made possible for almost 72 years under the Congress rule, PM Modi has altogether corrected that wrong now.

Last week it was seen that Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had invited President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Narendra Modi to attend the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji, including one of the significant historic opening of the Kartarpur corridor.

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Pakistan’s launch of its part of the Kartarpur project that is  involving a road link for Sikh pilgrims to visit the revered Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan which ultimately became the centre of its controversy in recent times after India’s External Affairs Ministry deeply expressed that the inception of such a project did by no means guarantee to the bilateral talks between the nations.

Another controversy broke out in India after the cabinet meeting was chaired by Narendra Modi and was approved on 22nd November for a corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to Pakistan Border. It was also announced that Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the other Akali Dal leaders have entered a credit war with the BJP and congress in regards to the launch of the Kartarpur corridor.

The flooded controversy aggravated further when the congress minister and ex-sportsmen Navjot Singh Sindhu whole heartedly applauded Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan for opening the corridor on the 155th anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first sikh leader  Sidhu went ahead in his appreciation of Imran Khan completely stated his own point of view that India works in order to strengthen its tie with Pakistan. Sidhu’s appreciation of the Pakistani Minister has not been taken in good spirits at all by the members of Akali Dal, as they believe that Pakistan is using Sidhu as a soft target to enter India, which they think is not at all right.

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Why Kartarpur Corridor Important for India and Pakistan?

Officials from India and Pakistan have for a longer time discussed the technical modalities of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims, the first meeting after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status ansd that’s leading to fresh tensions between the two controversial nations.

The important thing here to notice is that corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate an apportunity of visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to obtain nothing more than a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji.

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