— Online
— Online

NAROWAL: Sikhs from all over the world expressed their gratitude to Pakistan for opening the Kartarpur Corridor, saying Pakistan is the only country where followers of every religion have complete freedom without any discrimination on the basis of colour, creed and religion.

These views were expressed by Sikh pilgrims coming to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur for the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. When the yatrees saw the corridor, they got emotional and embraced each other.

The pilgrims from various countries, including India, Canada, the US and UAE, performed their religious rites at the gurdwara. They bowed their heads before the samadhi of Guru Nanak, sprinkled flower petals, laid sheets and gifts. They greeted each other on the opening of the corridor, danced to drumbeat and distributed sweets among themselves.

With tears in their eyes, Indian pilgrims Sardar Umid Singh and Sundus Kumari said their grandparents and parents had passed away with the unfulfilled desire of visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, but they considered themselves lucky that Guru Nanak gave them a chance to offer this pilgrimage.

Talking to the media, Sardar Hari Chand, Sardar Rajeet Singh and Sardar Kundli Singh said that the Pakistan government had won the hearts of Sikhs around the world by opening Kartarpur Corridor and fulfilled their ages-old demand for which they were grateful to Pakistan. They said there were several countries that claimed to provide religious freedom and basic human rights, but the situation on the ground was to the contrary.

Sardar Suraj Singh and Sardar Kuldeep Singh asked why those who called Pakistan a terrorist state were silent today. The country that offered thousands of sacrifices to establish peace could not be a terrorist nation, they added. Pakistan was a peaceful and loving country and whenever they came to visit the gurdwara, they received so much love from Pakistani people.

Indian pilgrims Jeet Kaur, Gulshan Kaur and Dilip Kumari said they had visited Nankana Sahib and Kartarpur three years ago through Wagah border, but coming through the corridor was special. They also lauded the Pakistan government for completing the corridor within a year, adding that the way Pakistan showered love on the Sikhs was priceless.

Jeet Kaur said that Pakistan was like paradise for the Sikhs of the world and they would stand by its side to protect it through thick and thin.

The Sikhs pilgrims were welcomed with drinks, food and fruit. Security arrangements for the inauguration were made strict and foolproof by police and plainclothesmen. All the roads leading to the gurdwara were blocked and only those carrying security clearance cards were allowed to proceed.

Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2019

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