Pakistan has taken a shocking step against the minority Sikh community in the region. The Imran Khan government has taken away control of the Kartarpur Gurudwara which is sacred to the Sikhs and given it to a Muslim body. Gurudwara Darbar Sahib is located at Kartarpur. Pakistan has taken away the management of the sacred place from the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC). According to the government of Pakistan, this is for a Project Business Plan. It will be looked after by nine officials of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB). And Muhammad Tariq Khan will head the board. The ETPB manages religious shrines and properties of Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan.
The move comes days ahead of the first anniversary of the inauguration of the historic Kartarpur Corridor on 9th November. The 4-km long corridor links Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur in India to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. The Kartarpur Gurudwara is the final resting place of the Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev. On 9th November 2019, Pakistan PM Imran Khan had formally inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor in a colorful ceremony. This was also as part of the commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
First Anniversary Of The Inauguration Of The Kartarpur Corridor Will Be Celebrated By PSGPC
On 29th October 2020, PSGPC chief Satwant Singh has told reporters that the committee will celebrate the first anniversary of the inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor on the 9th of November. But the ETPB had stayed away from the PSGPC’s initiative. According to ETPB, the body has not received any instructions to celebrate the first anniversary of the inauguration of the corridor so far.
The corridor allows Indian pilgrims to undertake visa-free travel to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara. From 16th March 2020 because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the gurudwara was not open. According to India, a decision to re-open the Kartarpur corridor and also the easing of restrictions will be taken in accordance with the protocols relating to COVID-19.
PSGPC chief Satwant Singh further said that Sikhs from all over Pakistan will visit the corridor on 9th November. According to him, 500 to 1000 locals visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib daily. According to an ETPB official, no function in connection with the first anniversary of the inauguration of the corridor has been planned at the government level. He further added that the PSGPC is in fact organizing a program on its own.
Earlier in October this year, the Foreign Office had said that Pakistan will celebrate the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev from 28th November to 30th November.