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Over 500 pilgrims visit Kartarpur as Modi inaugurates corridor, Sidhu sends PM hug from Pakistan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan for understanding India’s sentiment on the issue of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.

The Kartarpur Corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in this Punjab district.

“It will be easy to pay obeisance at the Darbar Sahib Gurdwara after the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor,” PM Modi said at a gathering in Dera Baba Nanak.

Asserting that he is fortunate to be able to dedicate the Kartarpur corridor to the country, he said that the opening of the corridor and the integrated check post will bring double happiness to the people.

“We have become irresponsible about the environment,” the prime minister said.

PM INAUGURATES KARTARPUR CORRIDOR, FLAGS OFF FIRST JATHA OF PILGRIMS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor at Dera Baba Nanak, Gurdsapur and flagged off the first batch of over 500 Indian pilgrims.

Modi flagged off the first batch of over 500 Indian pilgrims led by Akal Takhat Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib through the corridor, which was thrown open to public on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.

The prime minister inaugurated the passenger terminal building of the corridor on the Indian side, also known as Integrated Check Post (ICP), where pilgrims will get clearance to travel through the newly-built 4.5 km-long corridor.

Modi arrives for inauguration of Integrated Check Post in Gurdaspur | Photo from PTI

The first batch of pilgrims included Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Singh Badal and Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee members and all the 117 MLAs and MPs from Punjab were also part of the jatha (delegation).

At the time of flagging off the jatha, Modi met Manmohan Singh, who was accompanied by his wife Gursharan Kaur, and had a brief chat with him.

KARTARPUR CORRIDOR: MODI THANKS IMRAN KHAN FOR UNDERSTANDING INDIA’S SENTIMENT

Saying that he felt blessed to be on holy land, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday thanked his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan for understanding and respecting India’s sentiments on the issue of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor.

Dedicating the corridor to the nation, Narendra Modi also thanked Pakistan’s workers who worked to help build their portion of the corridor.

“I thank Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan miaji. He understood India’s feelings on the Kartarpur corridor issue, gave respect and, keeping in view those feelings, worked accordingly,” Modi told a gathering at the Border Security Force (BSF) camp in Shikhaar Masiahan, about eight kilometre from the Dera Baba Nanak Gurdwara.

Modi meets with NRI delegation which will use Kartarpur Corridor to reach Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan | Photo from PTI

“I also want to thank the workers of Pakistan who worked at a fast pace to help in building the corridor on their side,” PM Modi added.

Narendra Modi also congratulated everybody in the crowd, the country and Sikhs the world over on the occasion.

562 PILGRIMS VISIT KARTARPUR GURDWARA IN PAKISTAN ON FIRST DAY

On the inaugural day, 562 pilgrims crossed over to Pakistan to offer prayers at the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur after the much-awaited corridor was opened, officials said on Saturday.

A total of 562 pilgrims were part of the first ‘jatha’ who visited Gurdwara Darbar Sahib on the first day of the pilgrimage, a Home Ministry official said.

As per the agreement between India and Pakistan, all the pilgrims have returned to India after visiting the gurdwara located in Pakistan’s Narowal district.

It was an emotional and spiritual moment for the devotees who paid obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur on the inaugural day of the cross-border passage, and they hoped it will become a “peace corridor” in future.

Sikh devotees stand near zero line as they pay obeisances facing Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan on inauguration day | Photo from PTI

It was a good beginning to normalise the relations between the two countries [India and Pakistan],” Manmohan Singh told PTI, after his return from Kartarpur.

OPENING OF KARTARPUR CORRIDOR A MOMENTOUS EVENT: RSS

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) described the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor as a momentous event that will be etched in golden letters in the annals of history.

In a statement, RSS General Secretary Bhayyaji Joshi said, “The inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor this day, linking Dera Baba Nanak Sahib with Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, the sacred shrine where Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji spent the last 18 years of his life…is a momentous event that will be etched in golden letters in the annals of history.”

“The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh congratulates all those who have made most valuable contributions to turn this long-standing dream…into a reality. Along with joining the celebrations, RSS sends its greetings to all on this auspicious and memorable occasion,” he said.

SIDHU THANKS IMRAN KHAN, SENDS HUG TO PM MODI

Navjot Singh Sidhu was chief guest at the Kartarpur corridor opening ceremony in Pakistan for which he was invited by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Speaking at the event, Sidhu heaped praises on Imran Khan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Kartarpur opening.

“It is the first time since partition that the boundaries have been dismantled. No one can deny my friend Imran Khan’s contribution. I thank Modi ji also for it,” said Sidhu on Saturday at the Kartarpur Corridor opening ceremony in Pakistan.

Navjot Singh Sidhu at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan | Photo from PTI

Sidhu said he wishes to send a “Munnabhai MBBS-style hug to PM Modi” for the Kartarpur Corridor opening.

“I am thanking Modi ji also, it doesn’t matter if we have political differences, doesn’t matter if my life is dedicated to the Gandhi family. I am sending a Munnabhai MBBS-style hug to you Modi sahab for this,” said Sidhu.

Sidhu was addressing Indian pilgrims at the Kartarpur Corridor opening ceremony on Pakistani side when he lauded the efforts of both Imran Khan and PM Modi to open the corridor.

(Inputs from PTI)

Source: indiatoday.in

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