Marking a new beginning in India-Pakistan relations and heralding the possibility of reducing the tensions between the two countries, the Vice President of India, M. Venkaiah Naidu has laid the foundation stone for construction of Dera Baba Nanak - Kartapur Sahib corridor on the Indian side that will provide a passage to Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy site of Gurudwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan.The event also marked the commemoration of 550th birth anniversary year of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji.Describing today as a “historic day”, the Vice President while laying the foundation stone, said that it has been our long-pending demand that Indian Sikh sisters and brothers should be able to visit Kartapur site with ease.Pointing out that the demand for setting up the corridor has been discussed for two decades now, he observed that the dream which was pending for many years was getting fulfilled today. It is a day like no other day. It is a truly path-breaking, potentially transformative moment, he affirmed.Expressing his happiness that Pakistan has accepted the demand of India to develop a corridor with facilities on their side, Shri Naidu said that this is a corridor that connects to the Guru we revere, to the sacred space where he spent the last 18 years of his life. Paying rich tributes to Guru Nanak Dev Ji, he described him as a saint, scholar, poet, guide and a revolutionary, who gave illumination to humanity for the last five and half centuries.
Terming the corridor as a bridge between the people of the two countries who have so much in common, the Vice President said the corridor opens new doors and new possibilities and promotes a new resolve to connect the people of our two countries through love, empathy and invisible threads of common spiritual heritage. This is a corridor to the shrine of peace, harmony and humanism, to the universal vision of a world as one family, to the sublime ideal of service to humanity, he added.Shri Naidu observed that from time immemorial India has believed that the whole world was one large family and asserted that today’s event was the reaffirmation of that conviction.Lauding the Government of India for taking a number of initiatives to commemorate 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, the Vice President said his vision was timeless and more relevant today than ever before. He expressed his happiness that the Centre and the State Government were working together to construct the Kartarpur corridor in a true ‘Team India’ spirit.
Referring to the growing menace of terrorism, the Vice President said that it is truly a global challenge that requires a global response and we must collectively work towards a just and responsive world order and an early conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations. We cannot allow the darkness to deter us any longer, he added.The Vice President stressed that India wants peace with all nations, including its neighbours. He said the killing of innocents in terror attacks needs to be condemned.The Vice President said that the region was beset with challenges like poverty, illiteracy and gender discrimination, which needed to be addressed on a war footing. The people in the region want peace and development and everyone should work in that direction, he added.The Governor of Punjab, Shri V.P. Singh Badnore, the Chief Minister of Punjab, Capt. Amrinder Singh, the Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Shipping and Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation, Shri Nitin Gadkari, the Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs (I/C), Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, the Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment, Shri Vijay Sampla and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.