No Passport Required for Indians Visiting Kartarpur: Imran Khan
Earlier, the agreement said that while the travel would be visa-free, pilgrims needed to carry a valid passport.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday, 1 November, announced some concessions for Indian pilgrims paying a visit to the Darbar Sahib gurdwara at Kartarpur in Pakistan’s Punjab.
“For Sikhs coming for pilgrimage to Kartarpur from India, I’ve waived two requirements: i) they won’t need a passport, just a valid ID; ii) they no longer have to register 10 days in advance. Also, no fee to be charged on day of inauguration and on Guruji’s 550th birthday.” Khan tweeted.
Earlier, the agreement signed stated that while the travel would be visa-free, pilgrims were expected to carry a valid passport.
Khan's announcement also waives, on two special days, the USD 20 fee that pilgrims are expected to pay to visit the holy site. This fee has been a point of contention for the India government, which continues to urge Pakistan to reconsider its insistence on levying the fee. India has said it is ready to amend the agreement accordingly.
Punjab CM Welcomes Announcement
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said he was “happy and grateful” that the Pakistan government decided to waive passport requirement for Sikh pilgrims visiting Kartarpur Sahib and urged PM Khan to extend the waiver for all Indians.
Singh also reiterated his demand for the waiver of USD 20 fee.
The Kartarpur Corridor
The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the Ravi river.
Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the Ravi river, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
The inauguration of the corridor, which was supposed to take place on 8 November, has been postponed to 9 November.
India and Pakistan had signed the landmark agreement to operationalise the Kartarpur Corridor on 24 October. The agreement-signing ceremony took place at the Kartarpur Zero Point at the Pakistan-India border in Narowal, removing a key legal hurdle for the opening of the corridor.
Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur up to the border is being built by India.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.