Chandigarh: In a much-awaited event of the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will Saturday inaugurate the historic Kartarpur Corridor, which will connect Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district with Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.
PM Modi will flag off the first batch of over 500 Indian pilgrims ‘jatha‘ visiting Kartarpur Sahib today.
Modi will also inaugurate passenger terminal building, also known as Integrated Check Post, where pilgrims will get clearance to travel through the newly-built 4.5 km-long Corridor.
Before the inauguration ceremony, Modi also paid obeisance at Ber Sahib Gurudwara located in Sultanpur Lodhi. Sultanpur Lodhi city has been decorated with flowers, hoardings and several colourful gates to welcome the pilgrims.
Modi is also scheduled to participate in a public programme at Dera Baba Nanak.
The dignitaries, who are part of the first ‘Jatha’ crossing over from India to Kartarpur, will go as pilgrims and the list includes former PM Manmohan Singh, Punjab CM Captain Amrinder Singh, Union Minister Harsimrat Badal and Hardeep Puri, along with 150 other Parliamentarians. Further, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu will also grace the event.
India had signed an agreement with Pakistan on October 24 on the modalities for operationalisation of the corridor at ‘Zero Point’ of the international boundary at Dera Baba Nanak, a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday.
The Kartarpur issue has been marred with several controversies. Pakistan on Friday took a U-turn on its commitment to allow free entry to pilgrims on the opening day of the corridor, by announcing that it will levy a fee of USD 20 on people travelling through Kartarpur Corridor on Saturday.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had earlier announced that no fee would be charged from the pilgrims on the opening day of the corridor and on Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.