Ready to open Kartarpur Corridor from June 29, Pakistan tells India

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By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 27, 2020 12:14:32 pm

Kartarpur corridor to reopen, Kartarpur corridor, Kartarpur corridor shut, Kartarpur corridor coronavirus, pakistan Kartarpur corridor Last November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the corridor connecting Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Punjab with the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan. (Express photo)

Pakistan on Saturday conveyed to India that it was ready to reopen the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib for Sikh pilgrims on June 29. In an announcement this morning, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Islamabad was prepared to reopen the corridor on the occasion of the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.

The corridor was shut in March this year as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“As places of worship open up across the world, Pakistan prepares to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for all Sikh pilgrims, conveying to the Indian side our readiness to reopen the corridor on 29 June 2020, the occasion of the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh,” Qureshi tweeted.

As places of worship open up across the world, Pakistan prepares to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for all Sikh pilgrims, conveying to the Indian side our readiness to reopen the corridor on 29 June 2020, the occasion of the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.

— Shah Mahmood Qureshi (@SMQureshiPTI) June 27, 2020

In March this year, New Delhi had temporarily suspended registration and travel to the corridor due to the pandemic.

Health officials in Punjab had said that since Pakistani citizens also had access to Kartarpur Sahib, there was a danger that some infected individuals could pass on the virus to Indian pilgrims visiting the shrine. According to data accessed by The Indian Express from Punjab government officials, 3,871 pilgrims had visited Kartarpur Sahib after crossing over from Dera Baba Nanak border in Gurdaspur between March 7 and 13.

Meanwhile, in April, parts of the shrine were damaged in a storm and several domes built atop the outer perimeter walls of the complex had collapsed. At least eight domes of the newly renovated Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib fell apart due to a thunderstorm, reported news agency PTI.

A Pakistani official told PTI: “The domes were made of fiber that is why they were dislodged by strong winds.”

India conveyed to Pakistan that the damage has caused “great consternation” among the Sikh community, government sources said. “India has urged Pakistan that in deference to the sentiments of the Sikh community, the deficiencies which led to the damage to the newly constructed structures be urgently rectified and remedied,” a source told The Indian Express.

However, the Pakistan government has claimed that it has repaired “the damage caused by winds and rains at Kartarpur Sahib within hours.”

Last November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the corridor connecting Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Punjab with the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan.

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