Central and state functionaries set new norms for visiting Kartarpur Gurdwara

A high-level meeting between central and state functionaries at Dera Baba Nanak on Monday has arrived into a decision that devotees who want to visit the Kartarpur gurdwara would have to apply for a permit 30 days in advance. Also, there would be no stamping on the passport.

Kartarpur Gurdwara is built on the historic site where Guru Nanak settled and assembled the Sikh commune after his missionary travels. The present gurdwara is built on the site where Guru Nanak Dev Ji died, on 22 September 1539.

The Gurdwara is also notable for its location near the border between Pakistan and India. The shrine is visible from the Indian side of the border. Indian Sikhs gather in large numbers on bluffs to perform darshan, or sacred viewing of the site, from the Indian side of the border.

The Union government was represented by home secretary Ajay Bhalla while the jails and cooperation minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, represented Punjab.

The 4.2 km-long corridor of Kartarpur Gurdwara is to be opened on the occasion of the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Guru Nanak on November 9.

Officials also inspected the ongoing corridor work on the Indian side before the meeting. The officials’ visit comes ahead of the inauguration of Integrated Check Post at Dera Baba Nanak on November 8. The officers also visited the spot where the PM is scheduled to address a rally.

“It was informed in the meeting that passports of pilgrims would not be stamped during their visit to Kartarpur Sahib,” said Randhawa after the meeting. He said the pilgrims were not keen on entry and exit stamps in Pakistan on their passports.

Randhawa said: “Pilgrims will have to apply for permit 30 days in advance . Thereafter, the Indian government will send the information about the pilgrim to Pakistan, which will in turn either grant or deny the permit within 20 days.”

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