Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday requested 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 551st Parkash Purb (birth anniversary) of Guru Nanak Dev.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the SAD president also urged the PM to allow visa free pilgrimage to ensure those who do not possess passports could also access the Corridor.
He said easy access should be given to the pilgrims while enforcing health protocols keeping in view the 551st birth anniversary of the Guru on 30 November.
Badal said in his letter that there was an overwhelming sentiment in the Sikh community that the Kartarpur Corridor should be reopened at the earliest so that devotees could pay obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib as well as visit the hallowed area where Guru Sahib made a living practicing agriculture for eighteen years.
He also informed that the Pakistan government had opened at Corridor for travel and permission for the same was only awaited from the Indian government.
The Corridor was temporarily closed by the Indian government on March 16 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The SAD chief said 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.
He said history was made last year when the Indian government decided to open the Corridor and the same was inaugurated by the Prime Minister on November 9 on the eve of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.