Pak Sikh community urges India to open Kartarpur border
Karachi, Sep 19 : Pakistan’s Sikh community has urged the Indian government to open the Kartarpur border to help facilitate Sikh pilgrims’ visit to a historic gurdwara in this country, a media report said Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference here, patron-in-chief of Pakistan Sikh Council Sardar Ramesh Singh Khalsa said if opened, the border crossing will allow Indian pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartar Singh and Pakistanis to visit Dera Baba Nanak on the Indian side.
Khalsa said it had been a long pending demand of the Sikhs to open the Kartarpur border for pilgrims, ‘The Express Tribune’ reported.
He also praised the new Imran Khan-led government for its announcement of opening the border for Sikh devotees on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.
“The entire Sikh community is thankful to the Pakistan government for its noble gesture,” he said.
Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had said his government will soon open the Kartarpur border crossing with India for Sikh pilgrims to visit a historic gurdwara there without visas.
“Pakistan will soon open the border at Kartarpur for Sikh pilgrims and the pilgrims will be able to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur without visas,” he had said in an interview with BBC Urdu on September 7.
Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib is situated in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab. The Gurdwara is just four-and-half kilometers from the international border and is visible on a clear day from Dera Baba Nanak in India.
Devotees who are not able to visit Pakistan converge at international border at Dera Baba Nanak and offer their prayers.
Khalsa also strongly condemned the attacks against the cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu for hugging Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his visit to Pakistan for the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan last month.
Bajwa had spoken about the opening of the border in Kartarpur for the anniversary of Guru Nanak with Sidhu at Imran’s oath-taking ceremony.