Pakistan’s federal government has appointed an official on an ad hoc basis for a period of three months to handle the affairs of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor.
The 4-km long Kartarpur Corridor links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Punjab province, the final resting place of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab state.
The corridor allows Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit one of their holiest sites, situated in Pakistan, without a visa.
Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB), the federal body, which looks after holy places of minorities in Pakistan, issued a notification on Wednesday of the appointment of the Project Management Unit Kartarpur Corridor Chief Executive Officer for three months.
According to the notification, ETPB Additional Secretary (Admin) Sanaullah Khan was handed the charge of the CEO Project Management Unit Kartarpur Corridor for three months ‘as a stop-gap arrangement.’ “Moreover, the selection of the CEO Project Management Unit Kartarpur Corridor has been processed so that the deputed officer may be advised to handle the affairs of the Kartarpur Corridor project carefully in coordination with all law enforcement agencies due to its strategic and international significance,” it said.
Before Khan, a senior officer of ETPB, Rana Shahid was in charge of handling the affairs at the Kartarpur Corridor.
When the Kartarpur Corridor project was launched in November 2019, Brig (R) Muhammad Latif was appointed the first CEO Project Management Unit Kartarpur Corridor (Gurdwara Darbar Sahib).
Several months ago, Latif’s contract was terminated, for which the federal government offered no valid reasons.
Since then, the ETPB has been managing the affairs of the Kartarpur Corridor by appointing officers on an ad hoc basis.
The Economic Coordination Committee of the Federal Cabinet had in 2020 approved the establishment of the Project Management Unit (PMU) Kartarpur Corridor, a self-financing body for the management and maintenance of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur under the administrative control of ETPB.
Earlier, the ETPB was only looking after the affairs of the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. In November 2019, the then Prime Minister Imran Khan formally inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor as part of the commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak at a ceremony that paved the way for Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit one of their holiest sites, situated in Pakistan, without a visa.
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