DERA BABA NANAK: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu is likely to lead the first jatha (delegation) of
pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan through the Kartarpur corridor on November 9 to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
Pakistan has completed the work on it’s side on the corridor, while work on the Indian side of the Integrated Check Post (ICP) is still going on.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday shared some of pictures of the Kartarpur complex and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib and stated that the venue is ready to welcome the Sikhs pilgrims for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak. Khan tweeted, "I want to congratulate our govt for readying Kartarpur, in record time, for Guru Nanak jee's 550th birthday celebrations."
I want to congratulate our govt for readying Kartarpur, in record time, for Guru Nanak jee's 550th birthday celebrations. pic.twitter.com/dwrqXLan2r— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) November 3, 2019
Khan also in another tweet wrote, "Kartarpur ready to welcome Sikh pilgrims.’’
Sources said that once the devotees cross the zero line on the international border they will be taken on golf carts to the border terminal that has been built 350 meters away from Zero-point in the neighbouring country. 80 immigration counters have been set up there to cater to 5000 pilgrims. After their immigration and security clearance with biometrics is done, they will be allotted a number and sent to battery-operated red colour smart buses parked outside. The pilgrims will have to sit on the seats allotted to them to go further to the holy shrine. Special arrangements have been made for the elderly and handicapped devotees in these buses on which photos of Gurdwara in Kartarpur have been pasted.
The Darbar Sahib Kartarpur built in 42 acres is located 4.5 kilometres from international border in Narowal district of Pakistan. This is the place where Guru Nanak Dev preached for the last 18 years of his life and it is also his last resting place.
India has shared with Pakistan a list of 575 pilgrims who will go in the first jatha. The list includes the names of former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, Union Minister Hardeep Puri and Harsimrat Badal, MPs and MLAs besides others. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the corridor on the Indian side and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Pakistani side on November 9.
Punjab Cooperation Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said, "Vice President Venkaiah Naidu will lead the first jatha to Pakistan as this information has been conveyed to the state government."