CHANDIGARH: Ahead of the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to direct the Lands Port Authority of India (LPAI) to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor.
The corridor -- which allows Indian pilgrims to undertake visa-free travel to the Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara -- was closed on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Badal, in the letter, said easy access should be given to the pilgrims while enforcing health protocols keeping in view of the 551st birth anniversary of the Sikhism founder on November 30.
The four-km long corridor links Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur in India to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan - the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev.
India has said that a decision to reopen the Kartarpur corridor will be taken in accordance with the protocols relating to COVID-19 and easing of restrictions.
Badal, in his letter, said that there was an overwhelming sentiment in the Sikh community that the Kartarpur Corridor should be reopened at the earliest so that devotees could pay obeisance.
"The Pakistan government had opened the corridor for travel and permission for the same was only awaited from the Indian government," he said.
The SAD president said prominent pilgrimage sites across the world, which were partially or fully closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have been reopened.
Badal said history was made last year when the Indian government decided to open the corridor and it was inaugurated by the prime minister on November 9 on the eve of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
"Thousands of devotees visited the final resting place of Guru Sahib in the months following this before the corridor was closed temporarily on March 16 this year. I will be grateful if you could intervene in this matter considering that restrictions on paying obeisance at places of worship have been relaxed across the country. This will also be in keeping with the wishes of the Sikh community," the letter added.