Pakistan PM appoints first Ambassador for Kartarpur Corridor to woo more Sikh pilgrims

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has appointed Sardar Ramesh Singh Arora as a goodwill ambassador for Kartarpur Corridor as part of efforts to attract Sikh pilgrims around the world, a government notification announced on Wednesday.
The top Sikh leader will hold the position on an honorary basis, the notification says.
Arora from Kartarpur in Narowal is also the Central General Secretary of the Minorities Wing of the Pakistan Muslim League (N). His family has been associated with the protection and welfare of the Sikh holy places of Kartarpur.
His appointment comes as Kartarpur has failed to attract the number of visitors that Pakistani authorities had expected after opening the critical holy site for Sikhs, especially those from India.
Kartarpur Corridor Links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, the final resting place of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev, along with the Dera Baba Nanak Shrine in Gurdaspur district in the Indian state of Punjab. The 4 km long corridor provides visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims visit the Darbar Sahib.
In November 2019, Prime Minister Khan officially opened the Kartarpur Corridor as part of the commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in a colorful ceremony, paving the way for Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit one of the their religion’s holiest sites in Pakistan without the need for a visa. .
Arora, 48, was elected as a member of the Punjab provincial assembly for the second consecutive term in 2020, according to his profile on the Punjab assembly website.
In his first term from 2013 to 2018, he was the first parliamentarian from the Punjab assembly to come from the Sikh community since 1947.
Arora was chair of the Standing Committee on Trade and Investment from 2014 to 2017; and as Chair of the Standing Committee on Human Rights and Minority Affairs in 2017-2018.
He played a leading role in the enactment of the “Sikh Anand Karaj of Punjab Marriage Act 2018”, making Pakistan the first country where the Sikh Marriage Registration Act is enforced, according to his profile. .
He was also a member of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) of the Government of Punjab; member of the National Commission for Minorities under the Ministry of National Harmony from 2011 to 2013; and as General Secretary of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee from 2009 to 2013.


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