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Opening the Kartarpur Corridor is a symbol of peace and respect between religions and deserves applause, says MRG

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Minority Rights Group International (MRG), in solidarity with like-minded organisations* in India and Pakistan, welcomes the decision by India and Pakistan to open the Kartarpur corridor. Today will be the first time since the subcontinent’s partition that Indian Sikh pilgrims can access the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan without first obtaining a visa.

‘The opening of the corridor symbolizes respect for the minority Sikh religion in both states, in which inter-religious respect has been problematic. It is notable and deserves applause for setting an example to leaders in South Asia on ways to promote and respect religious diversity,’ says MRG Deputy Director, Claire Thomas.

The inauguration of the corridor takes place on the auspicious occasion of the 550th anniversary celebration of the birth of Guru Nanak. The first batch of pilgrims will be joined by many Indian political leaders and the corridor will be inaugurated by Prime Ministers of both countries.

The Kartarpur Corridor is a border corridor that will connect Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab, India with Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Punjab, Pakistan which is 2.5 miles from the international border. The Kartapur Gurudwara covers 42 acres, making it one of the largest in the world. According to officials, the corridor can accommodate up to 5,000 pilgrims per day and up to 10,000 can visit the Gurudwara daily. Kartarpur is considered one of the holiest sites under Sikhism, where Guru Nanak is said to have spent the last 18 years of his life.

*The organisations are: Bargad Organisation for Youth Development (Pakistan), Bytes for All (Pakistan) and The South Asia Collective which comprises of Books for Change (India), Bandhu Social Welfare Society (Bangladesh), Center for Equity Studies (India), Law and Society Trust (Sri Lanka), Misaal Foundation (India), Women in Struggle for Empowerment (Pakistan), National Commission for Justice and Peace (Pakistan), Peoples’ SAARC (Nepal), Social Science Baha (Nepal) and Women in Struggle for Empowerment (Pakistan).

 

Note to Editors

  • Minority Rights Group International (MRG) is the leading international human rights organisation working to secure the rights of ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples. We work with more than 150 partners in over 50 countries.

 

For more information or to arrange interviews contact:

Samrawit Gougsa, MRG Communications Officer (London, UK)
M: +44 (0)790 364 5640 / E: samrawit.gougsa@mrgmail.org / Twitter: @SamGougsa

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