Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Kartarpur corridor on the Indian side on November 9, 2019, and also send off the first batch of pilgrim for the Sikh shrine situated in Pakistan. He will also attend a function at the newly-constructed terminal for Kartarpur pilgrims in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.
Pakistan will also inaugurate the Kartarpur corridor terminal on its side on the same day and receive the first batch of Indian pilgrims. The Pakistani corridor is situated in Narowal district.
India has also sent an invitation to Pakistan for a meeting on October 23, 2019, to discuss details about the inauguration. Pakistan is yet to respond to the Indian invite.
India will also raise the $20 fee (about Rs 1,500) which Pakistan proposes to levy from Indian pilgrims visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur. India has already expressed disappointment over the $20 fee and asked Pakistan to withdraw the same although there has been no response from the latter.
According to the External Affairs Ministry, the Centre wants to operationalise Kartarpur corridor before November 12, the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, as the pilgrims have been demanding visa-free access to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.
Kartarpur Sahib on the right bank of the Ravi River is a holy centre for Sikhs and was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev. Kartarpur corridor will be the first visa-free passage between the two neighbours.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone for Kartarpur corridor on November 26, 2018, at Mann village in Gurdaspur district while the Pakistani side did the same two days later. The opening of Kartarpur border was first discussed in 1998 during the tenure of prime ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif.