ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Former Indian cricketer and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Wednesday accepted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led (PTI) government’s invitation to attend inaugural ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor.
PTI Senator Faisal Javed contacted Navjot Singh Sidhu on the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan and extended invitation to attend the inaugural ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor.
The former cricketer while accepting the invitation thanked PM Imran Khan for inviting him on the historical inaugural ceremony.
Sidhu said that Sikhs all over the world look forward to visiting a place associated with their spiritual leader, Baba Guru Nanak, adding that the construction and inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor has sent a positive message to millions of followers of Sikh religion.
On November 9, Prime Minister Imran Khan will formally inaugurate the corridor, just ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Baba Guru Nanak on Nov 12.
Sidhu said he will never forget the love and hospitality he received at the oath taking ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Pakistan.
On the other hand, Senator Faisal Javed said Kartarpur is a new symbol of peace and love and it is a gift of New Pakistan. He said Sidhu is one of the important characters of Kartarpur project.
Faisal Javed said PM Imran Khan will set a new page of history by opening the Kartarpur on 9th of next month.
Pakistan issues commemorative coin
Earlier today, the government of Pakistan issued commemorative coin to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak – the founder of Sikhism who died in the 16th Century.
The Sikh pilgrims, during their visit to the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib next month, will be able to buy the coin of worth Rs50. The postage stamps, with the image of Gurdwara Janam Asthan, will also be issued worth Rs8 and could be used commonly.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the project on November 9, three days before the 550th birth anniversary Baba Guru Nanak that will be celebrated on November 12.
On Monday, he also laid the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University in Nankana Sahib.
PM Imran Khan, in a message shared on social media on last Sunday, reiterated that the work on the Kartarpur Corridor has entered last stage.
He further mentioned that Sikhs from all countries will travel to the world s largest Gurdwara. “This Gurdwara will strengthen local economy […] many jobs will also be created in travelling, religious tourism and hospitality sectors,” he stated. “Buddhists have also been coming to visit different religious spots in Pakistan.”
While Sikh pilgrims do not need a visa for Pakistan; however they are required to obtain a permit before their departure.
The shrine is about 4 km (2-1/2 miles) from the border. The crossing and corridor - including a road, bridge over the Ravi River and immigration office - will replace a drawn-out visa process and circuitous journey through Pakistan
Pakistan had accepted India’s demand of facilitating visa-free movement of 5,000 Sikh pilgrims per day, and now they will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur.
In November last year, Khan laid the foundation stone for the corridor, months after he assumed office after winning majority of seats in the parliament. India’s cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and other officials had attended the ceremony. The Sikh minority in India has long sought easier access to the temple, which is just over the border in Pakistan.
What is the significance of the shrine?
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, also called Kartarpur Sahib, is a gurdwara in Kartarpur, Shakargarh, Narowal District, Pakistan.
It is built on the historic site where Guru Nanak settled and assembled the Sikh commune after his missionary travels. The present gurdwara is built on the site where Guru Nanak died on 22 September 1539.
The shrine was built to commemorate the site where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life until his death in 1539.
The present building was built in 1925 at a cost of Rs.1,35,600, after the original one was destroyed by floods. It was repaired by the Government of Pakistan in 1995, and fully restored in 2004, at a significant amount.
It is considered to be the second holiest site for Sikhism after Gurdwara Janam Asthan in Pakistan, which was built at the site where Guru Nanak was born.