Chandigarh [India], October 30 (ANI): Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene and direct the Lands Port Authority of India (LPAI) to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor to facilitate Sikh pilgrims wishing to visit Sri Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan on the eve of 551st Parkash Purb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Badal requested him to allow visa-free pilgrimage to ensure those who do not possess passports could also access the corridor.
Badal said that easy access should be given to the pilgrims while enforcing health protocols keeping in view the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Sahab on November 30.
He stated the Pakistan government had opened the corridor for travel and permission for the same was only awaited from the Indian government.
The SAD chief added that the corridor was temporarily closed by the Indian government on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He highlighted that prominent pilgrimage sites across the world as well as in the country, which had been partially or fully closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had been reopened.
"Thousands of devotees visited the final resting place of Guru Sahab in the months following this before the corridor was closed temporarily on March 16 this year. I will be grateful if you could intervene in this matter considering that restrictions on paying obeisance at places of worship have been relaxed across the country. This will also be in keeping with the wishes of the Sikh community," Badal added.
On October 29, Anurag Srivastava, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, said that the Kartarpur Corridor was closed due to COVID-19 protocol and it will re-opened only after consultation with all the concerned authorities. (ANI)