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Pakistan Appoints a Sikh as Ambassador for Kartarpur Corridor

March 2, 2023 | By

Lahore/Amritsar: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora as the Ambassador-at-Large for Kartarpur Corridor. A notification in this regard was reportedly issued on 1 March 2023. S. Ramesh Singh Arora will work in the position in an honorary capacity, the notification said.

Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora has been appointed as the Ambassador-at-Large for Kartarpur Corridor by Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, in Islamabad

Kartarpur Sahib corridor was opened in 2019 on the occasion of 550th Gurpurab of Guru Nanak Ji. It was closed in March 2020 due to COVID-19. The corridor was reopened by Pakistan on 29 June 2020, but India did not reopen it till November 2021. The corridor operations were resumed in November 2021 when Indian side announced to reopen it.

Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur Sahib

The Kartarpur Sahib corridor is meant to allow Sikhs from East Punjab to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, the Jyoti-Jot asthan of Guru Nanak Ji.

Why Not Many Sikhs from East Punjab Are Able to Visit Kartarpur Sahib via Kartarpur Corridor:

Notably, Sikh are facing many hurdles in visiting Kartarpur Sahib as there is a requirement of passport where many people, especially elderly, do not have passports. It is notable that the pass to visit Kartarpur Sahib via Kartarpur Corridor does not require visa still one cannot visit the Gurdwara Sahib without passport.

A report by The Indian Express lists following issues with reference to Sikh yatris:-

  • Large number of applications to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib rejected. No reason specified for rejection.
  • No clarity on the Union Home Ministry website about the number of visits allowed to a visitor per year.
  • No time specified on the website as to when a person can file a fresh application after rejection.
  • In the application, the column for travel history of a visitor to Pakistan is only available for the last ten years. If a person visited Pakistan 11 years ago, there is no clarity on how to proceed.
  • Application of family head is often rejected which discourages other family members from proceeding with the visit.

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