Punjab CM Seeks Passport Exemption For Kartarpur Pilgrims

Punjab CM has suggested that other documents such as Aadhaar card be used for identification instead.

1 min read
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh. 

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday, 15 January, sought waiver of the condition to carry passports for pilgrims to pay obeisance at the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan for celebrating Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th birth anniversary.

In a letter to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, he requested that the condition of mandatory passport for devotees seeking to cross the Kartarpur Corridor be waived.

Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life in Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara, which is located around 3 km from the India-Pakistan international border.

In November last year, Pakistan gave access to pilgrims from India to visit the gurudwara.

A spokesperson for the chief minister said Capt Amarinder Singh has suggested to the central government that any other valid government document, such as the Aadhaar card, may be used in place of passport for identification to enable maximum number of pilgrims to visit the gurudwara.

The central government should also create adequate infrastructure at the border crossing to handle a large number of pilgrims who would want to use the corridor to visit Kartarpur Sahib, the chief minister said.

The gurudwara, which fell in Pakistan’s territory following the partition of India in August 1947, is significant to Sikhism and its history.

For the past 71 years since partition, Sikhs have been offering prayers near the international border while seeing the gurudwara from a distance.

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