Chandigarh/New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Project implementation of the Kartarpur corridor proposed for Indian pilgrims to visit the revered Sikh shrine in Pakistan is “progressing with speed”, sources said on Tuesday after officials of the two countries held a meeting to discuss technical and security issues.
The officials of the two countries met in Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district on Tuesday after India made the proposal to address the outstanding technical issues, the sources said.
The Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province, located 4.5 km from the border near the Dera Baba Nanak town in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, is a highly revered Sikh shrine as it is here that Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years of his life and is his final resting place.
The two sides discussed issues such as the alignment of the corridor, which will be around 5 km long, of which nearly 4.5 km will fall in the Pakistan territory, sources said.
The officials also discussed security arrangements for the corridor which is expected to cater to hundreds of pilgrims from India who are eager to visit the Sikh shrine inside Pakistan through a visa-free arrangement.
The sources said project implementation on the ground is progressing with speed.
The corridor is expected to be completed before November this year to enable pilgrims to travel to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
The governments of India and Pakistan are trying to facilitate the travel of pilgrims to offer prayers at the gurdwara — a demand made by the Sikhs for the past over 70 years.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has been demanding visa-free “khule darshan” at the gurdwara for Indians of all faiths, from India and overseas, all seven days a week.