Punjab CM seeks waiver of passport condition for Kartarpur visit

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday sought waiver of the passport condition for pilgrims to pay obeisance at Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan on the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev.

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 Gurdwara, which is located around three km from the India-Pakistan international border.

In November last, Pakistan gave access to pilgrims from India, especially from the Sikh community, to visit the gurdwara.

A spokesperson for the Chief Minister said 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 pilgrims to visit the gurdwara.

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 gurdwara, which fell in Pakistan territory following the partition of India in August 1947, has big significance in Sikhism and history.

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

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