By Muhammad Luqman
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan will reopen the Kartarpur Corridor for all Sikh pilgrims on June 29 (Monday). However, India has rejected the offer , saying that there was need of at least a seven-day notice before the reopening of the crossing.
“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
Pakistan’s Foreign Office also in a statement said the Kartarpur Corridor was a true symbol of peace and religious harmony.
“This landmark initiative by the government of Pakistan has been immensely appreciated by the Sikh community all over the world including India. The first Guru of Sikhism, Baba Guru Nanak Saheb, had spent the last 18 years of his life in Kartarpur,” the Foreign Office added.
The Corridor was temporarily closed on March 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As the religious places are gradually opening up around the world, Pakistan has also made necessary arrangements to reopen Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for Sikh pilgrims,” it added.
Pakistan has invited India to work out necessary SOPs for reopening of the Corridor to ensure adherence to the health guidelines, the Foreign Office added.
Visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur had been suspended for Sikh pilgrims in April by Pakistan as the country battled the coronavirus pandemic.
However, according to Indian media, New Delhi has expressed inability to make preparations for the re-opening of the Kartarpur Corridor at a short notice, saying that two-day notice period to open the corridor goes against the bilateral agreement that provides for the seven day notice period.
Earlier this week, the country reopened the Wagah border between the two countries for three days to repatriate stranded Indians in Pakistan.
Pakistan on March 19 had closed the Wagah Border in its bid to prevent the spread of the virus in the country.