India and Pakistan on Thursday signed a landmark agreement to operationalise the historic Kartarpur Corridor to allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy Darbar Sahib in this country. The corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, just about four km from the international border, located at Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province. The agreement signing ceremony took place at the Kartarpur Zero Point at the Pakistan-India border in Narowal, removing a key legal hurdle for the opening of the corridor. The agreement will allow access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Norowal district of Pakistan where the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev spent last 18 years of his life.
Under the agreement, Indian pilgrims of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor. The travel will be Visa Free. Pilgrims need to carry only a valid passport. Persons of Indian Origin need to carry OCI card along with the passport of their country. Corridor is open from dawn to dusk. Pilgrims traveling in the morning will have to return on the same day. The Corridor will be operational throughout the year, except on notified days, to be informed in advance. Pilgrims will have a choice to visit as individuals or in groups, and also to travel on foot. India will send the list of pilgrims to Pakistan 10 days ahead of travel date. Confirmation will be sent to pilgrims 4 days before the travel date. The Pakistan side has assured India to make sufficient provision for ‘Langar’ and distribution of ‘Prasad’.
Joint secretary Ministry of Home SCL Das said that a portal has been launched to register the pilgrims who wish to travel to Kartarpur.
SCL Das said that all infrastructure related construction are nearing completion from Indian side.