Father's prayers answered, says son of Kuldip Wadala who prayed for 17 years for corridor

Vijay Dabur

Dera Baba Nanak (Punjab), Nov 8 (PTI) Kuldeep Singh Wadala, who offered prayers for 17 years for opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, had a strong belief that the passageway would open one day. Come November 9, his dream will finally come true.

Wadala, a former Shiromani Akali Dal MLA from Nakodar, Punjab, had started performing 'ardas' (prayers) near the India-Pakistan border in 2001. He used to offer prayers every month at the Dera Baba Nanak border for 17-long years, his son Gurpartap Singh Wadala said.

The former MLA had even gone to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan, around 2004-05 and had carried out repair work of the historic Sikh shrine with the support of some non-resident Indians (NRIs), his son told PTI on Friday.

Kuldip Wadala had even submitted a memorandum to the then Pakistan prime minister, Shaukat Aziz, for the opening of the corridor, according to Gurpartap Wadala.

'Prayers of my father have been answered now as the Kartarpur Corridor is going to be a reality on Saturday,' his son said. 'He offered prayers for 208 times for the opening of corridor without any gap.' In a major initiative last November, both India and Pakistan had agreed to set up the Kartarpur Corridor to link the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib -- the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev -- to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur to mark the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Kartarpur Corridor, which is four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine and will be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since their Independence in 1947.

'My father had a strong belief that one day, this corridor will open. Several people told him that it was not possible, but he stuck with his stand,' Gurpartap Wadala said.

'I wish my father should have been there to witness this historic event,' said the sitting Akali legislator, whose father passed away last year. 'We are happy that my father could also contribute through his prayers for the opening of corridor.' Gurpartap Wadala, who is also part of the first 'jatha' that will cross over to Pakistan for paying obeisance at the Darbar Sahib, said with the opening of the corridor, a history between India and Pakistan would be scripted despite the prevailing tensions between the two countries.

'It will be a corridor of peace between both the countries,' he added. PTI CHS VSDHMB