ISLAMABAD - Pakistan is committed to open Kartarpur corridor for the Sikh pilgrims, who intend to participate in the celebrations, marking the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in November, a senior aide to Prime Minister Imran Khan said, asserting the project would be completed under all circumstances.
Visiting Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari, made this pledge at a meeting with members of the Pakistani and Sikh communities in Queens, New York, arranged by the Overseas Pakistanis Global Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, devoted to protecting the rights of overseas Pakistanis.
Responding to a question about the impact of the current India-Pakistan tensions on the progress of the Kartarpur corridor, he said that this was a religious project and should be above politics. The Kartarpur Corridor will connect Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with the 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 Guru Nanak.
Bukhari told the gathering that Prime Minister Khan had made this “courageous” decision within three month of his assumption of office as Kartarpur was sacred to the Sikh community stating that nobody could stop Pakistan from completing this project. He also said that Pakistan was determined to promote religious tourism to attract maximum number of tourists from across the globe.
“Religious tourism has great potential to attract a large number of religious tourists, including Sikh and Buddhists to Pakistan,”
he said, pointing out that there are also a number of Buddhist sites in Pakistan from Swat to Azad Kashmir.
Bukhari also urged the Sikh community to participate in the September 27 protest demonstration, taking place in front of the UN building to protest against the policies of the fascist government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and to stand in solidarity with the besieged people of Kashmir.
People from countries such as Turkey, Arab, Bangladesh, would also be joining the rally, he said.
Present at the meeting were top leaders of Overseas Pakistanis Global Foundation -- Zahir Ahmed Maher and Muhammad Tahir Sandhu.
Amarjit Singh, a prominent Sikh leader, thanked the Prime Minister and the Government of Pakistan for its decision to open the Kartarpur corridor which was the long-standing desire of the Sikh community.