NEW DELHI: Since its inauguration on November 9, 2019, the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor has been used by around 1,30,000 pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan, the Parliament was told on Thursday,
An agreement between India and Pakistan for the facilitation of pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, Pakistan, was signed on October 24, 2019 in order to fulfil the long-standing demand of Indian citizens and Overseas Citizens of India, to have easy and smooth access to the holy Gurdwara nd to operationalise the corridor in time for the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan told the Rajya Sabha in a written reply.
"The agreement, inter alia, provides for visa-free travel of Indian pilgrims as well as Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders, from India to the holy Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan, on a daily basis," he said.
As a precautionary measure to contain and control the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, the Kartarpur Corridor was temporarily suspended from March 16, 2020. With the improvement in the Covid-19 situation, the corridor was reopened to pilgrims on November 17, 2021.
"With regard to the visit of Indian pilgrims to Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, there exists a Bilateral Protocol signed between India and Pakistan in 1974, under which visits to various religious shrines in Pakistan, including Gurdwara Nankana Sahib, are regularly facilitated. This year, the Government of India facilitated the visit of around 4,790 Indian pilgrims to Gurdwara Nankana Sahib in Pakistan," he added.