The leader of the United Arab Emirates' Sikh community has expressed happiness and celebrated the historic opening of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on November 9. They also thanked the leaders of both the community for their contribution in the opening of the 4.7-kilometre-long passage. The UAE Sikhs also feel that the opening of the corridor offers a great opportunity for their community to bring both countries, India and Pakistan together during the challenging time. The inauguration comes just three days ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev. The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi formally inaugurated and opened the corridor for pilgrims to access the final resting place of the 10th Sikh Guru.
Surender Singh Kandhari said, “We, at the Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar Dubai, and on behalf of the entire Sikh and Indian community in the UAE, are very happy at this development. It not only shows the harmonious coexistence between the countries but also upholds the values that can be sustained alongside the freedom to practice our faith”.
The UAE community expressed its wish to bring both the countries together for corporation along with further development. The inauguration of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor also comes at the same time when UAE celebrates the 'Year of Tolerance' which according to Kandhari, is an example understanding amidst different faiths along with religious tolerance between both countries. The decision calls for a momentous occasion as the neighbouring countries are facing tensions after New Delhi decided to revoke Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
“We hope this event brings the two countries together and lead to further cooperation and peaceful atmosphere to improve the relationship," Kandhari said. “This year as we celebrate the Year of Tolerance in the United Arab Emirates, this opening of the Kartarpur Border is a perfect example of interfaith understanding, harmony in diversity, religious tolerance between India and Pakistan”.
Both India and Pakistan after tough negotiations had signed a landmark agreement over the Kartarpur Corridor that would allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy Darbar Sahib in Pakistan. Both the countries mutually decided that 5,000 pilgrims can visit the shrine daily and more pilgrims will be allowed to visit on special occasions, subject to capacity expansion of facilities by the Pakistani side. Pakistan had earlier declared that Sikh pilgrims from India would only need a valid ID and no passport to travel to Kartarpur.No 10 day advance registration will be required to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. The Pakistani PM had also declared that the pilgrims who arrive on the day of the Kartarpur corridor's opening on November 9 and the 550th birth anniversary of the Sikh Guru on November 12 would not be charged a fee of USD 20 to visit the holy shrine.
(With PTI inputs)