Pakistan opens visa-free border crossing for India Sikhs

Prime Minister Modi Thanks Pakistan's Imran Khan For 'Cooperation' on Sikh Corridor

Hundreds of Indian Sikhs begin historic pilgrimage to Pakistan to visit holy shrine

However for Indian Sikhs, it has remained tantalisingly close - so close they could stand at the border and gaze at its four cupolas - but out-of-reach for decades.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, who envisioned the construction of Kartarpur Corridor a year ago, will inaugurate the much-anticipated overland passage linking the Dera Baba Nana shrine in northwest India's Gurdaspur with the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan.

After visiting Darbar Sahib he said, "It was a good beginning, India-Pakistan relations are subject to many buts and ifs, I hope this is a good beginning to normalise our relation".

In another U-turn, Pakistan has made a decision to charge $20 each from Indian pilgrims using the Kartarpur corridor on the inauguration day on Saturday, despite Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan having announced a fee waiver on November 1.

The pilgrims, also known as yatris, will be able to visit the Gurdwara in Kartarpur without a visa. The visa process was often complicated and hard to obtain.

In November past year, he performed the historic groundbreaking of the development work for the opening of the Kartarpur shrine for Sikhs in India and rest of the world. Kartapur ended up in the Muslim-majority country following the division of India and Pakistan at the end of British colonial rule in 1947. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Special Assistant on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan, Senator Javed Khan, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Zulfi Bukhari and other officials.

At least 700 pilgrims are expected to pass through the corridor on Saturday, and more in the coming days.

Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, situated in Kartarpur in Narowal district, is the second holiest place in the Sikh faith.

The corridor's opening coincides with the celebration of Guru Nanak's birthday on November 12.

"If you look at the history, the foundation of Sikhism is from Pakistan".

Faisal said he regrets the Indian posture of not reciprocating to Pakistan's peace overtures for resolution of all outstanding disputes, including those relating to Kashmir, water, Sir Creek, and Siachen.

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