In Kartarpur, Sikh pilgrims await biggest event in their religion’s history

Updated 08 November 2019

In Kartarpur, Sikh pilgrims await biggest event in their religion’s history

  • A rare joint initiative of South Asia’s nuclear-armed neighbors, the corridor will benefit millions of Sikhs around the world
  • Gurdwara Darbar Sahib is the last resting place of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh faith

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of Sikh pilgrims have arrived in Pakistan ahead of Saturday’s grand opening of Kartarpur Corridor which will allow access to the members of their religious community, especially from India, to visit the shrine of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh faith.
The corridor is a rare joint initiative of India and Pakistan. Its foundations were laid in November 2018 by the two governments who organized groundbreaking ceremonies on both sides of the border.
Despite tensions, disagreements, border skirmishes, diplomatic rows, aerial dog fights, and abrogation of Indian-administered Kashmir’s special status, the corridor project remained one constant India and Pakistan managed to achieve with single-minded determination.
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib is the last resting place of Guru Nanak, and an easy access to the holy site has remained a longstanding desire of some 24 million Indian Sikhs.
In these two videos, Arab News gives its readers a glimpse into the past, showing how the two governments of the rival South Asian nations decided to materialize the vision of constructing the corridor, and how things stand right ahead of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.


Pakistani jailed for Dutch anti-Islam MP murder plot

Updated 18 November 2019

Pakistani jailed for Dutch anti-Islam MP murder plot

  • A Dutch court found the 27-year-old guilty of ‘planning a murder with a terrorist motive’
  • The judge added four years in jail to the six years sought by the prosecution

THE HAGUE: A Dutch court sentenced a Pakistani man to 10 years behind bars Monday for planning to assassinate a politician Geert Wilders after the MP announced an anti-Islam cartoon competition.
The man, identified as Junaid I. by local media, was arrested in August 2018 at a train station in The Hague after he posted a film on Facebook in which he said he wanted to “send Wilders to hell” and urged others to help.
Judges at The Hague’s district court found the 27-year-old man, who had traveled from France, guilty of “planning a murder with a terrorist motive” and “incitement to commit a terrorist deed.”
“The suspect more than once said that Wilders’ death would be a good deed,” said presiding judge Jan van Steen, who added four years in jail to the six years sought by the prosecution.
“Furthermore, the suspect wanted to commit the murder in one of the parliamentary buildings, the heart of Dutch democracy,” Van Steen said, adding “the court is alarmed that the suspect... declared that this case will boost his image in Pakistan.”
The suspect had denied any terror-related motives.
He said during the trial that he was “peace-loving” and had only traveled to the Netherlands from France to protest against Wilders’ cartoon competition.
The Facebook video was seen by more than 153,000 people and shared 14,000 times.
Far-right leader Wilders canceled his plans two days later to stage a cartoon competition against the Prophet of Islam, a move that angered many Muslims, particularly in Pakistan where protests were led by the hard-line Islamist Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan party.
Wilders, 56, known for his peroxide bouffant hairdo and firebrand anti-immigration and anti-Islamist statements, lives in a safe house and has been granted 24-hour protection by the Dutch state.
The court did not say how Junaid I. planned to kill Wilders but found that in a bugged phone call after his arrest he said he took “specific things with him... without which his mission would not be complete.”
He had also walked round with a “large backpack, which he did not have when he was arrested” and lied about what it contained, the judges said.
A day after Wilders announced the cancelation, an Afghan man stabbed two American tourists at Amsterdam’s main train station. The man, who said he wanted to “protect the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),” was last month sentenced to 26 years in jail.