Several Sikh cabinet members and other dignitaries of Indian Punjab, led by Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, arrived in Pakistan on Thursday to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib.
The CM was accompanied by his family members, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal, Public Works Development Minister Vijay Inder Singla, Members of the Legislative Assembly Harpartap Singh Ajnala and Barindermeet Singh Pahra.
The delegation crossed the border at approximately 1pm to pay obeisance in the sanctum of Gurdwara Sri Kartarpur Sahib in Narowal, Pakistan on the occasion of Prakash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.
CM Channi described the reopening of the Kartarpur corridor as a historic moment, adding that it was a joyous occasion as the corridor facilitated numerous devotees in paying respects at Sri Kartarpur Sahib.
“The long-pending ardaas [prayer] of Sikh Sangat has been fulfilled and now we can pay reverence at this holy shrine without any hindrance”, CM Channi said.
The minister stated that reopening of the corridor will facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims to visit Kartarpur by simply obtaining a permit.
He mentioned that he was fortunate to be part of the Sangat paying homage since the demand of Khule Darshan-didar of Gurdwara Sri Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur fulfilled after a long period over seven decades.
“I will pray at Sri Kartarpur Sahib for further prosperity, peace and harmony of both sides,” CM Channi said.
“Our Gurus showed us the path of humility, unity, peace and welfare,” he stated, expressing hope that the corridor will play a pivotal role in realising the great thoughts of their guru.
Earlier this week Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Indian government decided to meet the demands of thousands of Sikh pilgrims in the neighboring country, and agreed to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor. The passage had been closed for the past 18 months.
Pakistan and India had closed the corridor in March 2020 to curb the spread of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
The Indian authorities took the decision to reopen the ‘peace corridor’ amid the 552nd birth anniversary of Guru Nanak – Sikhism’s central figure – that falls on November 19 this year.