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Sindh govt decides to set up a Kartarpur-like corridor for Hindu and Jain pilgrims

DUBAI/ISLAMABAD: Sindh Tourism Minister Zulfiqar Ali Shah said that religious corridors similar to the Kartarpur Corridor could be established on the Pakistan-India border in Sindh to facilitate Hindu and Jain devotees.

Speaking at a tourism promotion event in Dubai, Shah proposed that the corridors could be built in Umarkot and Nagarparkar. Nagarparkar is notable for its historical Jain temples. He highlighted the significant interest from Hindus and Jains eager to visit Sindh.

Shah also suggested that the Sindh government could initiate a weekly flight from India to Sukkur or Larkana to accommodate religious tourists.

Umarkot is home to Shri Shiv Mandir, one of the oldest Hindu temples in Sindh. Some believe it was constructed over 2,000 years ago, while a local Hindu community leader suggested it could be as old as 5,000 years. Nagarparkar, on the other hand, has numerous abandoned Jain temples.

The concept is inspired by the Kartarpur Corridor, which Pakistan inaugurated on November 9, 2019. This 4.1-kilometer (2.5-mile) corridor connects Pakistan and India, significantly shortening the journey for Sikh pilgrims to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur.

Previously, pilgrims had to travel 125 kilometers via a bus route from India to Lahore and then to Kartarpur.

The Kartarpur Gurdwara is one of the most sacred sites for Sikhs, being the final resting place of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, who lived in Kartarpur for nearly two decades in the 16th century.

The corridor allows visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims, a significant achievement after more than seven decades since the partition of the subcontinent.

The inauguration of the Kartarpur Corridor coincided with Guru Nanak’s 550th birthday on November 12.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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