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Sun, 17 Nov 2019 11:16 GMT

Hundreds of Indian Sikhs to Begin Historic Crossing into Pakistan

Lifestyle & Health

7Dnews London

Sat, 09 Nov 2019 11:25 GMT

Hundreds of Indian Sikhs will be able to make a pilgrimage to Pakistan on Saturday, November 9th, crossing to one of their religion's holiest sites, under a deal between the two countries who are separated by the 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent.

The shrine to Guru Nanak, (1469-1539), Sikhism's founder, lies in Kartarpur, a small town just four kilometres (2.5 miles) over the Pakistan side of the border where he died, according to AFP. 

A secure visa-free land corridor has been created to allow pilgrims to travel straight to the temple from the Indian side, in a rare example of cooperation between the long-time rivals.

The white-domed building is one of the holiest sites for up to 30 million Sikhs around the world, a site which remained tantalisingly close for Indian Sikhs and out-of-reach for decades.

Among the first group of pilgrims crossing the border between India and Pakistan at Kartarpur was former Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, who told Pakistani state media that the opening of a secure visa-free corridor between the two countries as a "big moment", according to Gulf Today.