New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor with the first batch of around 500 pilgrims leaving for the revered Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.

The Prime Minister inaugurated passenger terminal building, also known as Integrated Check Post, where pilgrims got a clearance to travel through the newly-built 4.5 km-long Corridor.

Donning saffron turban, Modi also addressed the function organised by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), where he thanked his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan for respecting the sentiments of India.

The opening of Kartarpur Sahib corridor before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devi has brought us immense happiness, he said.

“Visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib will become easy now,” Modi said at the Kartarpur Corridor inauguration event here before opening the Integrated Check Post for the corridor that connects Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district with the historic Kartarpur Sahab Gurdwara across the border in Pakistan.

“I thank all who have been associated with the construction of the corridor,” he said, adding he also thanked “Imran Khan for understanding Indian sentiments, respecting and working in the way to the construction of the Kartarpur Corridor within timeframe”.

“Guru Nanak’s teachings are being translated into various languages so that the next generation can also be enriched from them. We must vow to imbibe the preachings of Guru Nanak, which are still relevant,” Modi said.

“Every Sikh Guru, starting from Guru Nanak to Guru Gobind Singh have made efforts for the unity, defence and security of India. It is this tradition which has been carried forward by the Sikhs in the independence struggle and thereafter in protecting the country.”

At the grand event, Modi also released a special coin and postal stamps on the occasion.

Earlier in the day, Modi also paid obeisance at Ber Sahib Gurudwara located in Sultanpur Lodhi. Sultanpur Lodhi city was decorated with flowers, hoardings and several colourful gates to welcome the pilgrims.

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.

(With IANS inputs)