The US has welcomed building of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor between India and Pakistan to facilitate visa-free travel of Sikh pilgrims, saying the Trump administration is “incredibly supportive” of anything that increases people-to-people ties between the two neighbours.
The Corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.
“That was certainly a good news report, wasn’t it? We encourage it,” State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told reporters at a news conference on Tuesday when asked about the corridor.
“Anything that increases people-to-people ties between India and Pakistan is something that we’re incredibly supportive of,” she said.
Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India.
Last November, India and Pakistan agreed to set up the border crossing linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had on November 26 last year laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur Corridor in Gurdaspur district.
Two days later, Pakistan Prime Minister Khan laid the foundation stone of the Corridor in Narowal, 125-km from Lahore.