A corridor that will allow Sikhs to cross from India into Pakistan to visit one of the religion’s holiest sites is to open today, with thousands expected to make a pilgrimage interrupted by decades of conflict.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to see off the first group of pilgrims, who are to be welcomed by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khanat the shrine marking the grave of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak at Kartarpur, just 4km inside Pakistan.
The Kartarpur Corridor marks a rare example of cooperation between the nuclear-armed rivals, who have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947 and in February conducted tit-for-tat airstrikes after a suicide bombing killed 40 Indian troops.
The deal allows for up to 5,000 pilgrims a day to cross a secure corridor and bridge between the two countries, leading directly to Guru Nanak’s grave.
“They are very excited,” Kartarpur shrine custodian Ramash Singh Arora said on Thursday, adding that he hoped the initiative would pave the way for similar access to other Sikh sites in Pakistan. “If you look at the history, the foundation of Sikhism is from Pakistan.”
In the months leading up to the opening, Pakistan employed hundreds of workers to spruce up the shrine, including building a border immigration checkpoint and a bridge, and expanding the site’s grounds.
India had long been asking Pakistan for such a corridor, but years of diplomatic tensions put plans on hold.
The opening comes just days ahead of Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday on Tuesady, which is marked with celebrations by millions of Sikhs around the world.
“For over 70 years, pilgrims haven’t had the chance to cross over, to come over and that is just ... it’s just ... it’s going to be a really emotional moment,” Malaysian pilgrim Karan Deep Singh said.
Others hoped the corridor would help mend ties between the rivals after years of hostility.
“It should improve and I’m hoping that it will improve. Definitely. Because the goodwill is oozing,” Bhajan Singh Grewal from Australia said.
The Sikh faith began in the 15th century in the city of Lahore, which is now part of Pakistan, when Guru Nanak began teaching a faith that preached equality.
There are an estimated 20,000 Sikhs left in Pakistan after millions fled to India following partition in 1947, which sparked the largest mass migration in human history and led to the death of at least 1 million people.
On the Chinese microblogging platform Sina Weibo, enthusiastic slackers share their tips: Fill up a thermos with whiskey, do planks or stretches in the work pantry at regular intervals, drink liters of water to prompt lots of trips to the toilet on work time, and, once there, spend time on social media or playing games on your phone. “Not working hard is everyone’s basic right,” one commenter wrote. “With or without legal protection, everyone has the right to not work hard.” Young Chinese people are pushing back against an engrained culture of overwork, and embracing a philosophy of laziness known as “touching
‘STUNNED’: With help from an official at the US Department of Justice, Donald Trump reportedly planned to oust the acting attorney general in a bid to overturn the election Former US president Donald Trump was at his Florida resort on Saturday, beginning post-presidency life while US President Joe Biden settled into the White House, but in Washington and beyond, the chaos of the 45th president’s final days in office continued to throw out damaging aftershocks. In yet another earth-shaking report, the New York Times said that Trump plotted with an official at the US Department of Justice to fire the acting attorney general, then force Georgia Republicans to overturn his defeat in that state. Meanwhile, former acting US secretary of defense Christopher Miller made an extraordinary admission, telling Vanity Fair that
The Palauan president-elect has vowed to stand up to Chinese “bullying” in the Pacific, saying that the archipelago nation is set to stand by its alliances with “true friends,” Taiwan and the US. Surangel Whipps Jr, 52, a supermarket owner and two-time senator from a prominent Palauan family, is to be sworn in as the new president tomorrow, succeeding his brother-in-law, Tommy Remengesau Jr. In a forthright interview, Whipps said that the US had demonstrated over the years that it was a reliable friend of Palau, most recently shown by its delivery of 6,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. “It’s important for
DELIVERING HOPE: The Japanese PM pledged to push ahead with plans to stage the Games, despite polls showing about 80% think they will not or should not happen Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga yesterday vowed to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control and hold the already postponed Olympic Games this summer with ample protection. In a speech opening a new session of parliament, Suga said that his government would revise laws to make disease prevention measures enforceable with penalties and compensation. Early in the pandemic, Japan was able to keep its caseload manageable with nonbinding requests for businesses to close or operate with social distancing, and for people to stay at home, but recent weeks have seen several highs in new cases per day, in part blamed on eased attitudes