Pakistan to Allow Indian Sikhs Visit Kartarpur Gurudwara Without Visa
File image of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan | (Photo Credits: PTI)

Islamabad, Sept 8: Pakistan's Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the Imran Khan-led government is working towards granting visa-free access to Indian Sikhs to visit the Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province.

A road connecting the closest point with the Indian border will be opened up to commute the pilgrims to and fro, Chaudhry said during an interview with BBC Urdu.

The Minister, however, did not clarify whether the route will be opened up permanently or only for the special occasion marking Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary.

New Delhi has long been petitioning for a route which connects Gurdaspur, on the Indian side of the border, with Kartarpur shrine in Norowal. The two points are barely six kilometre apart, but are separated by the international border.

A major breakthrough was achieved when Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu went to Islamabad to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan last month.

At the sidelines of the event, Sidhu claimed, Pakistan Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat told the Congress leader that his country wants to open up the Kartarpur route on Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary.

On Friday, Sidhu addressed the press claiming that Islamabad has officially decided to grant visa-free access to Indian Sikhs enroute to Kartarpur. However, no confirmation related to the same was made by the Pakistani or Indian government.