The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Tuesday launched a free daily bus service for pilgrims visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur in Pakistan through the corridor from Golden Temple here to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district.
SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal flagged off the bus on Heritage Street near Golden Temple in the presence of senior functionaries of the gurdwara body. He said the bus will be ferrying pilgrims from Bhai Gurdas Hall near Golden Temple to the corridor passenger terminal at Dera Baba Nanak every morning and bringing them back in the evening daily.
Dera Baba Nanak is a border town linked to Kartarpur, the last resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, through the corridor opened on November 9 last year. A visa-free access to the shrine was a long-pending demand of the Sikhs in India.
The gurdwara body is already running free buses for devotees from Golden Temple to Amritsar bus stand and railway station.
Longowal said the SGPC is committed to facilitating the pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur gurdwara in every respect. He said that the gurdwara body will start sending ragis (gurbani exponents) to the Kartarpur gurdwara as the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC) has allowed it.
“Harassment of pilgrims by the police and other agencies on the pretext of questioning is unfortunate. This practice is in line of doubting the people of Punjab. The Punjab government should stop it,” he said.
The SGPC chief also urged the governments of both countries to waive the condition of passport for the trans-border pilgrimage.