The inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor is being held today (Saturday) in Narowal’s Kartarpur.
The first group of pilgrims arrived in Pakistan at around 10:15am. Prime Minister Imran Khan will be the chief guest at the inauguration.
Saturday also marks the 550th birthday of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion. The inauguration was specially scheduled today so that Sikh pilgrims could visit the gurdwara in Kartarpur on Baba Guru Nanak’s birthday.
Former premier Manmohan Singh has arrived at Kartarpur . Politicians Sunny Deol and Navjot Singh Sidhu have also said they will attend the inauguration.
Over 10,000 pilgrims are expected to attend the inauguration via the corridor. The project was announced last year by Prime Minister Khan and completed by both the Pakistani and Indian governments.
Pakistan had announced that pilgrims visiting the gurdwara would not need passports to enter, however, the Indian government rejected this. It also rejected the idea that the pilgrims do not have to inform the government 10 days before.
The government has, however, waived the requirement of a $20 service fee on November 9 and 12.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan on Saturday for his “cooperation” on a visa-free corridor allowing Indian Sikhs to visit Kartarpur. “I would like to thank the prime minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan, for respecting the sentiments of India. I thank him for his cooperation,” Modi said in televised comments from the inauguration of the corridor on the Indian side of the border, in a rare message of gratitude between the nuclear arch-rivals.