GS 2: IR | India & its neighborhood- relations
Why in News?
- Marking a new beginning in India-Pakistan relations and heralding the possibility of reducing the tensions between the two countries, the Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has laid the foundation stone for construction of Dera Baba Nanak – Kartapur Sahib corridor on the Indian side that will provide a passage to Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy site of GurudwaraDarbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan.
Kartarpur Sahib Corridor:
- India and Pakistan exchanged letters committing to build the required infrastructure for visa-free direct travel by Indian Sikh pilgrims to Pakistan’s Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara.
- The Kartarpur corridor will be implemented as an integrated development project with Government of India funding, to provide smooth and easy passage, with all the modern amenities.
- Government of India will put in place suitable facilities for smooth passage of pilgrims. Government of Pakistan will be urged to recognize the sentiments of the Sikh community and to develop a corridor with suitable facilities in their territory as well.
- In a rare sign of concord between the two countries, the letters were exchanged on the same day.
Corridor – History & Inception:
- The Kartarpur Sahib corridor was first proposed in 1999 when former PM Vajpayee took a bus ride to Lahore.
- He raised a long-standing demand from the Sikh community for easy access to the revered shrine across the border where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life.
- The pilgrims will traverse on the Indian side from Dera Guru Nanak Dev in Gurdaspur district directly to the border and from the Pakistani side of the border directly to KartarpurDarbar Sahib Gurdwara.
- This has been done to allow them to mark the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November 2019.
- This corridor will be a historical landmark between India and Pakistan and will also boost tourism as more pilgrims would visit the holy shrine throughout the year between two countries.