▶️ The prime ministers of India and Pakistan on Saturday inaugurated a visa-free border crossing for Sikh pilgrims from India, allowing thousands of pilgrims to easily visit a Sikh shrine just inside Pakistan each day.
Narendra Modi of India and Pakistan's Imran Khan held separate opening ceremonies on their respective sides of the new border crossing.
It's a rare sign of cooperation between the two nuclear-armed nations amid heightened tensions over the disputed Kashmir region, which both countries partially control.
👉 Hundreds of pilgrims Saturday from India’s minority Sikh community crossed the international border with Pakistan without a visa for the first time in 72 years to pay homage to one of their holiest shrines.
The rare instance of cooperation to facilitate the religious journey comes amid a sharp deterioration in already tense ties between the nuclear-armed rival countries sparked by recent Indian actions in the disputed Kashmir region. Both India and Pakistan control portions of the Himalayan territory but claim it in its entirety.
Indian pilgrims, including senior politicians and officials, traveled through a newly established 4.1-kilometer cross-border corridor, featuring fenced-off sides and leading straight to the shrine in the Pakistani town of Kartarpur in Punjab province.
Known as the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the temple is believed to have been built on the site where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, spent last 18 years of his life before he died there in the 16th century.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan inaugurated the border corridor, just in time for the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak's birth on November 12.