Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan on Friday announced his decision to waive two requirements for all pilgrims coming for the pilgrimage to Kartarpur from India. According to a tweet by the prime minister himself, all Sikhs travelling to Kartarpur will no longer need a passport— just a valid ID and travellers will no longer need to register 10 days in advance as proposed before.
Khan also said that there will be no fee charged on the day of the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor which is also the same day as the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak on 9 November.
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
This announcement comes a day after Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal requested Khan not to make the corridor a source of income for his country as it is meant for pilgrimage, describing the $20 fee as "too high". Badal said it should be seen as a "goodwill gesture" between the two countries.
"I appeal to Pakistan's prime minister Imran Khan please do not try to make Kartarpur Corridor a source of income, it is meant for pilgrimage and should be seen from that perspective. Don't look for business in this pilgrimage...it should be a goodwill gesture," Sukhbir said after meeting Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The first batch of 1,100 Sikhs from India arrived in Lahore in Pakistan on Thursday for the birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak.
The much-awaited corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur, Punjab, with the gurdwara at Kartarpur, just around four kilometres from the international border, located at Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is to inaugurate the corridor on 9 November, formally opening the Kartarpur Corridor connecting two historical gurdwaras on either side of the India-Pakistan border for pilgrims.
Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, had spent more than 18 years of his life at the Darbar Sahib gurdwara in Kartarpur, Pakistan, located on the banks of the river Ravi, making it one of the holiest sites for devotees.
Spanning over an area of around 2.5 lakh sq feet, the terminal will have a facilitation centre to host government officials responsible for ensuring hassle-free travel of pilgrims, food kiosks, parking areas and security points. The government had acquired 50 acres of land for the project which can accommodate 5,000 people.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Nov 01, 2019 08:47:02 IST