UPSC PRELIMS 2019 : Pakistan agrees for visa-free year-long travel to Kartarpur Sahib

Pakistan agrees for visa-free year-long travel to Kartarpur Sahib

Topic: Pakistan agrees for visa-free year-long travel to Kartarpur Sahib

Topic in Syllabus: International Affairs



Pakistan agrees for visa-free year-long travel to Kartarpur Sahib

Pakistan agreed to give year-long visa-free access for Indian pilgrims to the holy Gurdwara of Kartarpur Sahib.

It was agreed to allow visa-free travel for the Indian passport-holders and OCI card-holders seven days a week.


Kartarpur Corridor :

The Kartarpur Corridor is a proposed border corridor between the neighbouring nations of India and Pakistan, connecting the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib (located in Punjab, India) and GurdwaraDarbar Sahib Kartarpur (in Punjab, Pakistan).

Currently under planning, the corridor is intended to allow religious devotees from India to visit the Gurdwara in Kartarpur, 4.7 kilometres (2.9 miles) from the Pakistan-India border, without a visa.

The Kartarpur Corridor was first proposed in early 1999 by the prime ministers of India and Pakistan, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif, respectively, as part of the Delhi–Lahore Bus diplomacy.

The corridor will reportedly be completed before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November 2019.

Currently pilgrims from India have to take a bus to Lahore to get to Kartarpur, which is a 125 km journey, despite the fact that people on the Indian side of the border can physically see GurdwaraDarbar Sahib Kartarpur on the Pakistani side. An elevated platform has also been constructed for the same on the Indian side, where people use binoculars to get a good view.

  • India proposed that the holy shrine be open to Indian citizens of all faiths, acceding to this demand pakistan “in-principle agreed” to allow all people with Indian passport and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card-holders.
  • India also asked Pakistan to prevent Khalistan supporters from misusing this historic initiative.
  • India also urged Pakistan to allow ‘Nagar Kirtan’ from Delhi to Nankana Sahib in Pakistan in July and during October-November 2019 as part of the celebrations to mark the 550th birth of Guru Nanak dev, the first Sikh Guru.


Guru Nanak Dev

  • Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti is observed on the full-moon day in the month of Katak to celebrate the birth of Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539).
  • He was the first of the 10 Sikh Gurus and the founder of Sikhism.
  • The Kartarpur corridor will be implemented as an integrated development project with Government of India funding. The development comes ahead of the 550th Prakash Purab or 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in 2019.


Nagar Kirtan

  • Nagar Kirtan is a Punjabi term which literally means “Neighbourhood Kirtan”.
  • The term refers to the possession of Sikh Sangat (Congregation) through the town singing holy hymns.
  • The concept of a Nagar Kirtan is to bring the message of God to the doorstep of the community.
  • It is common during the month of Vaisakhi(April-May) and take place all over the globe.



The Khalistan movement is a Khalsa nationalist movement that wants to create an independent state for Sikh people, inside the current north-western region of India.


Sample Question:

Kartarpur Sahib is revered as

a. Guru Nanak’s final resting place

b. Guru Gobind’s final resting place

c. Both a and b

d. None


Answer: a