India signs Kartarpur agreement to facilitate Sikh pilgrimage

The Union Cabinet has also approved the development of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur, Punjab, to the International Boundary, to facilitate Indian pilgrims’ visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan, also known as Kartarpur Sahib

October 24, 2019

The Union Cabinet has approved building and development of the corridor, allowing pilgrims from India easy access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur

The agreement comes on the historic occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Devji, the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus

The travel will be visa free and pilgrims will need to carry only a valid passport; Persons of Indian Origin need to carry OCI card along with passport of their country

An online portal has been launched for registration of pilgrims; Indian Government is also building infrastructure for all-weather connectivity through the corridor

Government of India signed an agreement on October 24 to operationalise the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor at Zero Point, International Boundary, Dera Baba Nanak. The signing was witnessed by representatives from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Defence, and Ministry of Home Affairs, as well as the State Government of Punjab. The Union Cabinet has also approved the development of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur, Punjab, to the International Boundary, to facilitate Indian pilgrims’ visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan, also called Kartarpur Sahib. 

The agreement comes on the historic occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Devji, the founder of Sikhism and the first of the ten Sikh Gurus. The occasion is to be celebrated by Sikhs from around the world. Herein, Government of India’s landmark decision will provide pilgrims from India safe and convenient passage to Kartarpur Sahib throughout the year. In addition to the Agreement being signed, a framework has been established for specifics of the operationalisation of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. Meanwhile, India is building infrastructure to support all-weather travel through the corridor.

The highlights of the framework are –

  • Travel via the Corridor will not require a Visa;
  • Only a valid passport must be carried by pilgrims;
  • Persons of Indian Origin must carry their OCI card, along with the passport of their country;
  • The Corridor is open from dawn to dusk – morning travellers must return on the same day;
  • The Corridor will be operational throughout the year, except on notified days, to be informed in advance;
  • Pilgrims may visit as individuals or in groups, and also may travel on foot;
  • India to share list of pilgrims with Pakistan 10 days ahead of travel date – pilgrims to receive travel confirmation 4 days before the travel date;

Government of India’s initiative around the project will add to the festivities of Sikhs from around the world as they observe the auspicious occasion. With regards to all-weather connectivity through the corridor, both countries will provide infrastructural support in terms of the highway and the Passenger Terminal Building required to navigate the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. This establishes the robust security architecture required for the smooth and easy passage of pilgrims. Additionally, the Government has launched an online portal – https://prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in/kpr/ – to assist pilgrims with registration, receipt of Electronic Travel Authorisation as well as any other information.