The Kartarpur Corridor linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district to facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims has been hitting headlines for all the wrong reasons. Following is the chronology of events leading up to the foundation laying of the corridor.
1522: The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was established by the first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak Dev, where he is believed to have died.
February 1999: The Kartarpur Sahib corridor was proposed by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he took a bus ride to Lahore during a peace initiative with Pakistan.
2000: Pakistan agrees to allow Sikh pilgrims from India to visit the shrine visa-free (and without passport) by constructing a bridge from the India side of the border to the shrine.
August 2018: Punjab minister Navjot Sidhu attends Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in ceremony.
August 2018: Upon his return from Islamabad, Sidhu says that Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa informed him that the Pakistan government would open the Dera Baba Nanak (Kartarpur) corridor on Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
November 22: Indian Cabinet approves the Kartarpur corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the Pakistan border.
November 26: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu lays the foundation stone of the Dera Baba Nanak - Kartarpur Sahib Corridor (up to the International Border) at an event at Mann village of Gurdaspur district of Punjab.
November 28: Prime Minister Imran Khan lays the foundation stone of the 4-km corridor which is expected to be completed by next year.
November 28: Khan assures Sikh community that facilities at Kartarpur will be better for 550th birth celebrations for Guru Nanak Dev.