Shah throws his weight behind Kartarpur corridor

The statement of the home minister makes it clear the Modi government does not share the apprehension of BJP Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy about the corridor to Pakistan

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New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the Modi government was committed to completing the Kartarpur Sahib corridor within the stipulated time.

The assurance of the home minister came a day after India and Pakistan held a meeting of the technical committee at the Zero Point in Gurdaspur in Punjab on the opening of the Kartarpur corridor, amid fresh tensions between the two countries after Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was scrapped.

Extending greetings, to “especially my sisters and brothers of Sikh community” on the auspicious occasion of ‘Parkash Purab of Guru Granth Sahib ji’, Shah hoped that the light of holy Guru Granth Sahib would continue to guide everyone and provide the strength to serve the nation better. “I also reiterate the commitment of Modi govt to complete the work on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor within the time frame,” he tweeted.

The home minister said the teachings of the Guru Granth Sahib enshrine the message of universal brotherhood, peace and righteous way of life.

The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.

Pakistan and India are still discussing the modalities regarding the opening of the corridor at Narowal, some 125-km from Lahore, on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November.

Over the past few months, many rounds of meetings have been held on the Kartarpur corridor during which the experts from the two sides have discussed its alignment, coordinates and other engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points.

In July, delegations of the two countries had held a meeting on the Pakistani side of the Attari-Wagah border to discuss the modalities of the Kartarpur corridor.

The corridor will also be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since their independence in 1947.

Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India.

The statement of Shah makes it clear that the Modi government does not share the apprehension of BJP Rajya Sabha member Subramanian Swamy about the Kartarpur corridor. Swamy had, exactly a week ago, said that the work on the Kartarpur corridor project should be stopped in the interest of the nation and there should be no talks with Pakistan on any issue. “In my view, in the interest of the nation, the work (on the Kartarpur corridor) should not move ahead. Whatever work has taken place (on the project), let it stop there,” he had said, talking to reporters on the sidelines a seminar in Chandigarh. The Sikh community led by the Shiromani Akali Dal had howled in protest against Swamy’s statement.

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