Home South Asia Pakistan UK Sikhs to invest £500m for religious tourism in Pakistan

UK Sikhs to invest £500m for religious tourism in Pakistan

UK-based Sikh community has committed the investment of up to £500M for the Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan in a recent meeting with Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari in London. Following the news, Indian security agencies are on tenterhooks on developments regarding the project and people or organizations taking part in it.

UK

News Desk |

The United Kingdom (UK)-based Sikh community will invest 500 million pounds in religious tourism projects in Pakistan.

Recently, the Sikh community in London has committed the investment of up to £500M (635 Million USD/96.5 Billion Rupees) for the Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan in a meeting with Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari, chairman of Pakistan Tourism Board and PM’s special assistant on overseas Pakistanis and human resource development.

PM’s special assistant Bukhari has scored a huge win for Pakistan’s tourism industry as Pakistan is preparing for massive Sikh tourism in line with the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Sahib which falls in November 2019.

Pakistan planned to develop the religious sites but due to the recent economic situation was unable to carry on the projects at the desired pace considering the fact that the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Sahib falls in November 2019.

Since taking office, PM Imran Khan had announced to build Kartarpur corridor. Bukhari, who was given the additional charge of promoting tourism in Pakistan earlier this year, has briefed the UK Sikh Foundation, heads of different Gurdwaras & business tycoons from across UK about PM Khan’s desire to promote religious tourism and develop Sikh Gurdwaras and other religious sites.

Pakistan Prepares for Massive Sikh Tourism in November 2019

The initiative alone would benefit tens of thousands of Sikh pilgrims every year and promote interfaith harmony. The plan is also inclusive of visa facilitation, online visas, visas on arrival, establishment of tourism desks in Pakistani embassies and dedicated staff to staff to facilitate visas for those taking part in Yatras in Pakistan this year.

Pakistan planned to develop the religious sites but due to the recent economic situation was unable to carry on the projects at the desired pace considering the fact that the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Sahib falls in November 2019.

Read more: Kartarpur Corridor: Pakistan completes 50% construction work

Following the meeting with Bukhari, the UK Sikh community thanked PM Khan and Bukhari for taking the step, saying they will set up a fund of £500M this year to invest in the development of religious tourism in Pakistan focusing on development and upkeep of their religious sites.

The participants also made a specific commitment on connectivity whereby high-standard free buses would connect all the main Gurdwaras in Pakistan.

Indian Intelligence Groups on Alert

Meanwhile, as the news of setting up the fund for promoting religious tourism in Pakistan emerged, the Indian media reported that India is keenly watching the developments amid concerns of money landing in ‘wrong’ hands.

The unprecedented occasion was marked by former Indian cricketer and the member of Punjab cabinet, Navjot Singh Sidhu, along with several Indian ministers and a group of both Indian as well as international journalists.

Indian security agencies are on tenterhooks on developments regarding the project and people or organizations taking part in it, the media reported, adding that no group or foundation outside the country has so far offered such investment in the project in the Indian territory.

FWO Completes 45 Percent Work of First Phase

In March, it was reported that the Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has already completed around 45 percent of the construction of the first phase of Kartarpur Corridor Project by February.

On November 28, 2018, PM Khan had laid the foundation stone of Kartarpur Corridor to link Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan with Gurdaspur district in India. The unprecedented occasion was marked by former Indian cricketer and the member of Punjab cabinet, Navjot Singh Sidhu, along with several Indian ministers and a group of both Indian as well as international journalists.

Read more: Pakistan suggests single-tourist visa for Carec states to promote tourism

In a statement issued from Islamabad in March, PM Imran Khan had issued orders for timely completion of Kartapur Corridor. He had directed the FWO to ensure the completion of the project on the Pakistani side of the border on time.

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