The first batch of the Indian pilgrims entered Pakistan on Saturday through the historic Kartarpur corridor which was thrown open ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.
The list of the first batch of pilgrims numbered to 627 but not all managed to cross over on Saturday.
Those who travelled across included Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh, his wife Preneet Kaur, former PM Manmohan Singh, central minister Hardeep Puri, Sunny Deol, among others and Navjot Singh Sidhu who was the chief guest of the event held in Pakistan.
Standing at zero-point and trying to get a glimpse of the Gurudwara which is a little over 4 km away from the border, Harjit Kaur (76) said, “I hope to go to Kartarpur Sahib myself but for me, passport is an issue. I wish there was no such requirement. But, I will not stop trying”.
Many added to her concern saying that now for most villagers going to the Gurudwara will remain a dream. There were many who lauded Sidhu for his efforts. 47-year-old Harjit Singh, who was running a langar (free food service) for the pilgrims and devotees said, “Sometimes the almighty needs a medium to get a deed done. Sidhu was that medium.”
Returning from the visit, cabinet minister Sukhjinder Randhawa said, “The corridor has brought Darbar Sahib closer to us as the people will now be able to pay obeisance personally. A dream which every Sikh had in their minds has been actualised today.”
While the Punjab chief minister raised concerns regarding the misuse of this corridor by Pakistan, all political parties have hailed the idea of respecting Sikh sentiments and opening the border.
Staying true to Sikhism, the entire community and villages in Dera Baba Nanak were involved in community service. Little kids were also seen serving food and helping in washing vessels.