India Pakistan Move to Open Historic Border Crossing for Sikhs
This temple, the final resting place of Sikhism founder, is only four kilometers from India’s border.
But the lack of a border crossing means, thousands of feet pilgrims have to take a long route,
first to the Pakistani border city Lahore and then a three to four hour journey from there to get here.
Or they have to contend with a distant glimpse from a viewing stage across the border.
On the other side, they have binoculars installed so pilgrims who come there they see the Gurdwara and paid their obeisance through the binoculars.
But next year before the five hundred and fiftieth birth anniversary of Sikh founder Guru Nanak,
the governments of India and Pakistan have promised to open a new border crossing.
Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone Wednesday on the Pakistani side.
According to the plan Indian pilgrims will arrive at a border terminal complex to receive special permits for visa-free entry for the holy shrine.
Special buses from the terminal complex will take them to the shrine and back along the 4 kilometer fenced corridor.
The gesture is raising hopes that the two sides who are going through a downturn in their roller coaster relationship
will use access to the shrine as an impetus to turn their relationship around.
But analysts caution against high expectations.
We’re seeing that opportunities created for engagement
but I don’t think that the kartoffel corridor which is essentially a faith corridor can become something larger unless there is a political will for that.
In his address at the ceremony Hahn said the two nuclear-armed neighbors have no choice but peace.
At the same time he pointed to Kashmir as a main dispute that needs to be resolved .
Meanwhile Indian politicians have hailed the opening of the corridor but continued to accuse Pakistan of supporting terrorism on Indian soil .
I am Shedolm Shin VOA news Karachi Pakistan
我是Shedolm Shin， 美国之音，巴基斯坦克拉奇