India and Pakistan have signed a visa-free border crossing agreement to let Indian Sikhs easily visit a shrine in Pakistan each day beginning next month in a rare moment cooperation amid heightened tensions over the Kashmir region.
The agreement was signed Thursday by officials of the two countries who shook hands at a land border point in India’s northern Punjab province where nearly 80% of India’s nearly 25 million Sikhs live.
Instead of visas, the two countries plan to give special permits to pilgrims to access the shrine through a corridor built on both sides of the border.
Sikh founder Guru Nanak settled in what is now Pakistan’s Kartarpur. The shrine was built after he died in the 16th century.