The much-awaited Kartarpur Corridor from India to Pakistan is going to open on 9 November. An agreement has been reached between the two countries regarding this. Many MPs, MLAs and ministers are going to be part of the first batch of pilgrims to go to Kartarpur.
The agreement between the two countries includes
- visa-free travel for Indian passport holders and OCI (Indian Foreign Citizenship) cardholders
- bridge construction on the submerged area of the Ravi River to connect part of India
- permission for at least 5,000 visitors from India daily
The first batch of pilgrims comprising Punjab MLAs, MPs, Union ministers will include Harsimrat Kaur and Hardeep Singh Puri. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. They will lead the first batch.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the corridor from India and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will do so from Pakistan.
The Kartarpur Corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur of Indian Punjab with Darbar Saheb in Kartarpur. Earlier, people had to take visa and go to Darbar Saheb via Lahore, which was a long route. Now an Indian or a Pakistani will not need a visa for this journey.
For a long time, Sikhs have been demanding the Kartarpur Corridor so that pilgrims can visit the Darbar Saheb.
Last year, the governments of India and Pakistan laid the foundation of the Kartarpur Corridor. There was some dispute between the two countries and both had put forth their respective conditions. In the end, the two countries reached an agreement.
Now, as the date of opening of the corridor approaches, the stakeholders are asking some questions related to Kartarpur Sahib. Here are the 10 most frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers.
1. When is the Kartarpur Corridor opening?
The corridor will open on 9 November this year (the day after tomorrow, Saturday).
2. Is the Kartarpur Corridor visa-free?
There is no visa requirement for the Kartarpur Corridor.
3. What is the fee to go here?
It is $ 20. Those who go on 9 and 12 November will not have to pay the fee. On 12 November, it’s the 550th Guru Nanak Jayanti.
4. How much is $ 20 in rupees?
About Rs 1,400.
5. Do you need to carry a passport?
This is necessary during the online application for the Kartarpur Corridor. Now Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that passport is not required and only a valid identity card will have to be carried.
6. Who is funding the Kartarpur corridor?
Both governments have given funds to the project.
7. How can you go to Kartarpur?
You can visit this website (click on the link) for online registration.
8. What is the distance from Dera Baba Nanak to Darbar Saheb Kartarpur?
9. Where can you see the latest information on your registration?
You will receive a notification after registration. Apart from this, you can also look at the website of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
10. Can NRIs avail of this opportunity?
A person who has an OCI card can go through the Kartarpur corridor. Other people have to apply for a visa.
To know what you can and cannot carry, click on this link.
To know the risks involved for India, refer to these reports:
- Terrorist camp in Pakistan across border near Kartarpur
- Khalistani terrorists feature in Pakistan’s Kartarpur promo
- Kartarpur Corridor: Govt yields under Sikh pilgrim pressure
The programme on Monday is considered to be important for India-Pakistan relations.
Kartarpur Sahib is in Pakistan but its distance from India is just 4.6 km.
Indians who use binoculars to look at Kartarpur Sahib from the Indian territory need the permission of the BSF.
According to the belief (historical records are fuzzy), Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, came to Kartarpur in 1522. He spent the last 18 years of his life there.
It is believed that a gurudwara was built at the place where Guru Nanak died in Kartarpur.
India-Pakistan Kartarpur Corridor Agreement
The agreement holds that
- An Indian, regardless of his/her religion, does not need a visa for this trip
- Passports and Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) will be required for passengers
- This corridor will remain open throughout the year
- The Indian Foreign Ministry will give a list of pilgrims travelling to Pakistan 10 days in advance
- Every devotee will have to pay $ 20 (about Rs 1,400) for the journey
- 5,000 people will be able to visit this corridor a day
- A temporary bridge is being used right now and a permanent bridge will be built in the coming times
- Devotees will have to register on the online portal for this journey. This portal started on Thursday. An applicant will be informed about the confirmation of his/her application four days in advance by an email and a phone message