The Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan today took to Twitter to announce waivers for Indian pilgrims visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib through the Kartarpur corridor. Khan declared that Indian pilgrims will not have to register in advance and they will not require a passport for their visit, although a valid ID will be needed. Besides, he also stated that no fees will be charged on the inauguration day and on Guruji’s 550th birthday.
For Sikhs coming for pilgrimage to Kartarpur from India, I have waived off 2 requirements: i) they wont need a passport – just a valid ID; ii) they no longer have to register 10 days in advance. Also, no fee will be charged on day of inauguration & on Guruji’s 550th birthday
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) November 1, 2019
“For Sikhs coming for the pilgrimage to Kartarpur from India, I have waived off 2 requirements: i) They won’t need a passport-just a valid ID; ii)They no longer have to register 10 days in advance. No fees will be charged on the day of inauguration and on Guruji’s 550th birthday,” Khan tweeted.
Although the requirement of passport and advance registration have been waived, the entry fee will still be required, which have been waived on two specific days only. The move comes after repeated insistence from India to Pakistan to waive off the fee of USD 20 per Indian pilgrim. In addition, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also made an appeal to Pakistan to stop levying fees and allow ‘khulla darshan deedar’.
Even as India inked an agreement with Pakistan over Kartarpur corridor, it expressed “disappointment” over Pakistan’s persistence on levying the fees of $20 per pilgrim. Pakistan, which is reeling under severe economic crisis, plans to earn $100,000 every day by allowing 5000 pilgrims a day.
In November 2018, India and Pakistan had accepted to set up the border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak. The foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor was laid in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu in November last year.
The construction of the 4.5 km corridor from Indo-Pak border to the Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is almost complete, and it will be inaugurated on the Indian side by PM Narendra Modi on 9th November.