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Greetings

Filed on November 10, 2019

H.E. Ghulam Dastgir, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE

H.E. Pavan Kapoor, Ambassador of India to the UAE

Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul-General of Pakistan in Dubai

Vipul, Consul-General of India in Dubai

Messages of support from diplomats

H.E. Ghulam Dastgir, Ambassador of Pakistan to the UAE

On the historic occasion of opening the Kartarpur Corridor, I congratulate the Sikh community all over the world, particularly those based in the UAE.

Opening of this Corridor on the auspicious occasion of the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak has a special resonance for Sikhs living in India. Kartarpur Corridor will allow Indian pilgrims to undertake visa-free visit to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the shrine of the Sikh religion's founder Guru Nanak Dev Ji in Pakistan.

The historic initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan to open the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is in response to the long-standing demand of Sikh community across the world, particularly from India.

Under this arrangement, Pakistan will permit 5,000 Indian pilgrims of all faiths without visa, per day, seven days a week, throughout the year, with the provision for additional numbers on special occasions, subject to capacity.

As part of a series of activities to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, the Government of Pakistan has issued a special coin and a commemorative stamp. Moreover, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has laid the foundation stone of Baba Guru Nanak University at Nankana Sahib.

The first phase of the construction of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor project and renovation of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, which has now become the world's largest Sikh Gurdwara, has been completed in record time.

The Government and people of Pakistan highly value and respect the services of Sikh community of Pakistan in development and stability of the country. In line with the aspirations of the founding father, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the constitution of Pakistan fully protects and  guarantees equal rights for all minority communities including Sikhs.

I am glad that the opening of Kartarpur Corridor pleasantly coincides with the "Year of Tolerance" being observed in the UAE. Today, the UAE stands tall as a model of tolerance and co-existence in the world and proudly shares its success story with the global audience.

I once again felicitate the Sikh community on the opening of Kartarpur Corridor on the occasion of the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak.

H.E. Pavan Kapoor, Ambassador of India to the UAE

I am pleased to know that Khaleej Times is taking out a special edition on opening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor to mark 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first Sikh Guru and founder of the Sikh faith.

Guru Nanak was a great soul who worked for welfare of the humanity throughout his life. His teachings of truth, compassion, kindness and love are even more relevant today when there is conflict and confrontation in society due to perceived differences in status, religion, nationality or ideology. By adopting his message of peace and universal brotherhood the world can become a better place for all.

The Indian Union Cabinet had passed a resolution in November 2018 itself to celebrate this historic birth anniversary in a grand and befitting manner.

The celebrations include development of Sultanpur Lodhi, where Guru Nanak spent several years and Guru Nanak Highway, connecting Kapurthala with Taran Taaran. We have also been marking this anniversary with appropriate events in Gurudwaras and our Embassies and Consulates across the world, including the UAE.

The Government of India had also approved building and development of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the International Boundary, to facilitate travel of pilgrims from India to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur, throughout the year.

An agreement has been signed between the Governments of India and Pakistan to facilitate smooth operation of this corridor. With completion of necessary infrastructure for the Corridor and a framework to facilitate smooth passage of pilgrims, I hope that maximum devotees would be able to fulfill their long cherished dream.

I extend my best wishes to all the pilgrims, including many from the UAE, for their successful visit to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur to pay homage to Guru Nanak Dev Ji on this auspicious occasion.

Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul-General of Pakistan in Dubai

I extend heartiest greetings to the Sikh community all over the world, and especially the Sikh community of the UAE on the joyous occasion of the opening of Kartarpur Corridor.

The principles of love, peace and tolerance are essential elements of all religions including Islam and Sikhism. Guru Nanak (founder of Sikhism) practicised and propagated such noble principles all his life. I believe that his teachings are a beacon of light, not only for Sikh community, but also for the whole humanity. In fact, the auspicious occasion (opening of the Kartarpur Corridor) is a true symbol of tolerance and interfaith harmony.

The Government of Pakistan always strives to promote interfaith harmony among all religions and discourages discrimination on the basis of religion. It is worth mentioning that the role of the Sikh community in the progress and prosperity of our country is commendable. 

Although the proposal for the corridor has been on the table since 1988, it has been realised today, mainly due to sheer commitment and dedication of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Therefore, this great humane and diplomatic initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan will be remembered for a long time.

Vipul, Consul-General of India in Dubai

I once again congratulate the Sikh community, especially those based in the UAE on the realisation of their long-awaited dream of Kartarpur Corridor - A Corridor of Peace.

I convey my greetings to all Indians, particularly the Sikh community, on the momentous occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He not only laid the foundations of the Sikh religion but also gave the eternal message of oneness of humanity. His teachings emphasised love, peace, equality and brotherhood which especially resonate in this day and age when there is so much strife and tension in the world.

Guru Nanak Dev Ji also stood for principles like women empowerment, protection of nature and inter-faith dialogue which also remain very relevant.

It is a wonderful coincidence that the 550th year of Guru Nanak Dev Ji has fallen in the Year of Tolerance in UAE. The country provides enabling environment to more than 200 nationalities to work and live peacefully here and has emerged as a shining example of co-existence and harmony.

The UAE is also home to a large number of Sikh community and other followers of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. They can be seen in all colours on festivals like Baisakhi, Gurpurab and Prakash Parv every year when several thousand people from the community congregate at the Jebel Ali Gurudwara in Dubai.

The community is making good contribution to the growth and development of UAE and also to its multicultural fabric. We are proud of their work and achievements.

Our Consulate has engaged actively with the Gurudwara and the Sikh community to mark the 550 years of Guru Nanak Dev Ji over the past one year.

The Government of India has also taken several initiatives on the occasion, a major one being the inauguration of Kartarpur Sahib corridor. Over the past few months, steps have also been taken to provide consular services to some members of the Sikh community in other countries who had been banned from receiving them. The Consulate also extends all help to Indians in distress who approach it through the Gurudwara.

I look forward to participating in the festivities that are being organised around Guru Nanak Jayanti on November 12 in Dubai. Several events and activities are planned to once again tell us about the life and teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji.

I am sure that this will promote spirituality, humanity, devotion and truth which are all important in building a peaceful and harmonious world.

On behalf of our Consulate, I wish everyone Happy 550th Gurpurab! May Guru Nanak Dev Ji's blessings be with us always.


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