Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor today, which will allow Sikh pilgrims to travel to Darbar Sahib in Pakistan. The inauguration of the corridor comes three days ahead of the 550th anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev. PM Modi will inaugurate a passenger terminal building, also known as Integrated Check Post, where pilgrims will get clearance to travel through the newly-built corridor.
Before the inauguration ceremony, the Prime Minister will offer prayers at Ber Sahib Gurudwara at Sultanpur Lodhi, a statement issued by the Prime Minister's Office said on Friday. PM Narendra Modi will also participate in a public programme at Dera Baba Nanak after the inauguration.
Here are the highlights of the event:
06:56 pm: US welcomes the opening of a new border crossing between India and Pakistan, Kartarpur Corridor. It is a step towards promoting greater religious freedom. Best wishes to the pilgrims making the crossing for the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak’s birth.
05: 10 pm: Former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh after a visit to Kartarpur Corridor said: "It was a good beginning, India-Pakistan relations are subject to many buts and ifs, I hope this is a good beginning to normalize our relation."
04:35 pm: PM Modi and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh released a commemorative coin and a stamp in honour of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji
04:20 pm: Former Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu while addressing the inaugural ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan said: "It is the first time since partition that the boundaries have been dismantled. No one can deny my friend Imran Khan's contribution. I thank Modi Ji also for it."
02:04 pm: Narendra Modi with Former PM Dr.Manmohan Singh at inauguration event
Punjab: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Former PM Dr.Manmohan Singh at inauguration of the Integrated Check Post of the #KartarpurCorridor at Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur. pic.twitter.com/xptNdQ0JPX— ANI (@ANI) November 9, 2019
02:00 pm: Kartarpur opening great opportunity for Sikhs to bring India, Pak together: UAE Sikhs
The historic opening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor offers a great opportunity for the Sikh community to bring India and Pakistan together in these testing times, the leader of the UAE's Sikh community has said, thanking the leaders of both the countries for the momentous occasion.
Surender Singh Kandhari said Kartarpur was of historic and religious significance for Sikhs as this is where the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev took his last breath.
"We consider this of the same importance as the Nankana Sahib Pakistan, the birthplace of Guru Nanak Dev Ji," he said.
01:02 pm: PM Narendra Modi, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh and other leaders at a 'langar' in Dera Baba Nanak
12:35 pm: PM Modi says he is fortunate to dedicate Kartarpur corridor to country.
12:30 pm: Will be easy to pay obeisance at Darbar Sahib gurudwara after the opening of Kartarpur corridor: PM Modi at Dera Baba Nanak
12:28 pm: Who knew Guru Nanak Dev would give a new direction to the society, says PM Modi
12:24 pm: Guru Nanak Ji an inspiration for all, says PM Modi
12:19 pm: PM Modi releases a special coin on the eve of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji
12:15 pm: Every inch of Karatarpur has Guru Nanak, I feel blessed to be here says, PM Modi
12:09 pm: "I would like to thank the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan Niazi for respecting the sentiments of India," says PM Modi.
12:05 pm: PM Modi inaugurates Kartarpur Corridor says, The opening of Kartarpur Sahib corridor before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devi Ji has brought us immense happiness.
10:54 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP MP from Gurdaspur, Sunny Deol, Union Minister Hardeep Puri and Shiromani Akali Dal's Sukhbir Badal at Dera Baba Nanak.
10:49 am: Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu arrives at Integrated Check Post of the Kartarpur Corridor
10:45 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at Dera Baba Nanak; meets Former Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal
10:35 am: First 'Jatha' of Sikh pilgrims from India arrive in Pakistan through the Kartarpur Corridor. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Integrated Check Post of the Kartarpur Corridor at Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur, today.
First 'Jatha' of Sikh pilgrims from India arrive in Pakistan through the #KartarpurCorridor. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Integrated Check Post of the #KartarpurCorridor at Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur, today. pic.twitter.com/iZQLLaTKA7— ANI (@ANI) November 9, 2019
09: 20 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays obeisance at the Ber Sahib Gurudwara, in Sultanpur Lodhi.
09:12 am: Security measures in place for the inauguration of Kartarpur corridor.
08:54 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Amritsar
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, actor-politician Sunny Deol and Union Ministers Hardeep Puri and Harsimrat Kaur Badal are among those visiting Kartarpur on the inauguration day.
On Friday, Pakistan had announced it will charge $20 from every pilgrim visiting Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on the day of inauguration. Pakistan had earlier announced that no fee will be charged on the Kartarpur Corridor opening day.
India and Pakistan had on October 24 signed an agreement on the modalities for operationalising Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, paving the way for its inauguration ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of the Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.
Earlier ISPR chief Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Indian Sikh pilgrims would require a passport to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan's Punjab province via the Kartarpur Corridor.
On November 1, Imran Khan had announced the completion of Kartarpur Corridor on Twitter and had announced waiving conditions of carrying a passport for identification and prior registration for the visitors.
Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu was also given political clearance to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib by the foreign ministry on Thursday.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the border, Pakistan will hold a separate event for the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor.
Kartarpur Corridor provides visa-free access to Indian Sikhs to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, originally known as Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, a highly revered Sikh shrine where Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years of his life and is his final resting place.
The corridor has been established to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak falling on November 12.
The 4.5 km-long corridor connects Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab's Gurdaspur with Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, a small town about four km from the International Border, located at Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province. It is the place where the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev is believed to have spent the last 18 years of his life.
After reportedly informing India earlier in the day that it will levy such a "service charge" on all days starting today, the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson on Friday tweeted to say that they will abide by Imran Khan's announcement that no fee will be sought on the inaugural day of the Kartarpur Corridor.
India had objected to the $20 service charge that Pakistan said it would impose on Sikh pilgrims. Disagreement over the issue even led to a delay in launching online registration for pilgrims intending to visit the shrine.