Thousands of Sikhs may not be able to visit Kartarpur Sahib despite opening of corridor. Here's why

Thousands of Sikhs may not be able to go to Pakistan to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara since the neighbouring country has put the passport as a pre-requisite for entry.


Despite the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor on November 9, there are still thousands of Sikh pilgrims who still have to take 'darshans' of the holy Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara by standing at the zero line at Dera Baba Nanak.

Thousands of Sikhs may not be able to go to Pakistan to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara since the neighbouring country has put the passport as a pre-requisite for entry. The pilgrims without their passports are left with no option but to see the Gurdwara Sahib from the 'viewpoint', the place from where they watched the Sikh shrine from the past seven decades.

Jasbir Kaur (75) is one of the thousands of pilgrims who do not own a passport. India Today TV spoke with some of the devotees at Dera Baba Nanak.

"My husband owns a passport and he has been to Kartarpur Sahib twice. I do not have a passport but I wish that I will have a passport one day as I am also keen to pay a visit to the Darbar Sahib," Jasbir Kaur said.

Another Sikh devotee Bor Singh Ji Tuta Wale has appealed to the Pakistani government that the pre-requisite to enter the country i.e the passport should be withdrawn.

"We are happy that the corridor has now been opened for the pilgrims. We are grateful to both the governments but we have a request as the passport should not be a pre-requisite to visit the Darbar Sahib. Only one or two family members have a passport in a normal Punjabi family. The benefits of the corridor will only be available to the common pilgrims if other identity cards such as the Aadhaar card & voter ID card  for an identity proof," Bor Singh Ji Tuta Wale said.

Interestingly, there are resourceful pilgrims like Sudarshan Singh who are kin to bear the expenses for those who have no means to pay the $20 entry fee.

"We have been praying every day that the Gurdwaras in Pakistan be opened for the pilgrims. Today, this dream has been fulfilled. I had taken a vow that I will pay a visit to Darbar Sahib as and when the corridor is opened. I have already got myself registered for the pilgrimage," Sudarshan Singh, who hails from Madhya Pradesh, said. He also said that the $20 entry fee levied by Pakistan is bearable.

Another pilgrim, Kirpal Singh, who hails from Valsad, Gujarat is also willing to help the poor pilgrims and says that the Sikh community can manage the fee but pre-requisite to own a passport should be dropped.

Pakistan has permitted entry of 5,000 pilgrims per day and there are thousands of pilgrims from across the country who have been waiting for their turn to pay a visit to the holy Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara.

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