Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for respecting the sentiments of India while speaking on the occasion of the historic opening of 4.7 km long Kartarpur corridor which will link Dera Baba Nanak Gurudwara in India’s Gurudaspur district to Kartarpur Darbar Sahib in Pakistan.
Both the shrines are dedicated to the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, whose 550th birth anniversary is being celebrated.
“I would like to thank the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan Niazi for respecting the sentiments of India,” said PM Modi at the Gurudaspur Gurudwara.
Modi added that he was fortunate to dedicate Kartarpur corridor to the country.
“Opening of Kartarpur corridor and integrated check post will bring double happiness,” he said at Dera Baba Nanak.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was praised earlier by Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and Akali Dal patriarch Parkash Singh Badal for making the opening of Kartapur corridor possible.
Badal said Narendra Modi was a “world leader” and acknowledged prime minister’s role in opening of the corridor after 72 years of efforts by the community.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh also praised the prime minister and cautioned Pakistan against pushing a divisive agenda in Punjab and Kashmir.
Capt Singh said it was a “historic day” for every Sikh who has been praying daily for ‘khulle darshan didar’ (unhindered access and prayers) at Kartarpur Sahib shrine.
“I’ve been to Nankana Sahib twice but this will be my first visit to Kartarpur Sahib. I will pray for Punjab and our country,” said the CM.
PM Modi will also see off the first batch of pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib through the Corridor. Giani Harpreet Singh of the Akal Takht is leading the 500-member Indian delegation that also includes former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, her husband and Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal and several ministers, MPs and MLAs from Punjab.
The Prime Minister will declare open the Integrated Check Post at the passenger terminal building at Gurdaspur.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurate the corridor on the end of the route in Pakistan. Several other events are being held in Kartarpur to mark Guru Nanak Dev’s birth anniversary.