ISLAMABAD – Pakistan on Thursday said no date has been fixed so far for the inauguration of the much-awaited Kartarpur corridor, even as it assured that it will be open “on time” on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev next month.
The statement came nearly a month after a senior official heading the corridor project announced that Pakistan will allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy Kartarpur Sahib from November 9.
Addressing a weekly press briefing here, Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said, “Work on the Karatarpur corridor will be completed on time as committed by the prime minister (Imran Khan). It will be inaugurated on time, but I can’t give any date for its opening as no date has been fixed so far.”
He assured that the corridor will be open on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of the Sikh spiritual leader on November 12.
The proposed corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev.
Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district up to the border will be constructed by India.
On September 16, during a maiden visit of Pakistani and foreign journalists to the proposed Kartarpur Corridor in Narowal, some 125 km from Lahore, the project director, Atif Majid, said 86 per cent of the work on the corridor has been completed and it will be opened to pilgrims on November 9.
The Foreign Office spokesman said former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh has been formally invited for the inaugural ceremony.
He also said Pakistan will continue to highlight the plight of Kashmiris at world forums.