Kartarpur corridor: India says it has asked Pakistan to reconsider decision to levy $20 service charge on pilgrims

Addressing media in New Delhi, External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India had gone to hold talks with an 'open mind' to resolve all issues.

Asian News International September 12, 2019 22:43:39 IST
Kartarpur corridor: India says it has asked Pakistan to reconsider decision to levy $20 service charge on pilgrims
  • Pakistan had earlier on Thursday said that pilgrims will be charged $20 as service charge for visiting the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara.

  • India said it has asked Pakistan to 'reconsider' its decision to levy the service charge on the pilgrims.

  • The MEA said India has also urged Pakistan to show 'some flexibility' on the corridor so that there is no hindrance in the run up to the celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

New Delhi: India on Thursday said it has asked Pakistan to "reconsider" its decision to charge $20 as service charge from pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan.

Addressing media in New Delhi, External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India had gone to hold talks with an "open mind" to resolve all issues.

Kartarpur corridor India says it has asked Pakistan to reconsider decision to levy 20 service charge on pilgrims

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar at the briefing on Thursday. ANI

"That is where Pakistan kind of insisted that there has to be a fee of $20. It was not discussed. Since then, we have requested them that look this is to be reconsidered. This is in the interest of pilgrims; you can't charge somebody who is going on a pilgrimage," Kumar said.

He added that India has asked Pakistan to reconsider this decision.

Pakistan on Thursday said that pilgrims will be charged $20 as service charge for visiting the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara.

Kumar said that India has urged Pakistan to show "some flexibility" on the Kartarpur corridor so that there is no hindrance in the run up to the celebrations of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

"The third joint secretary-level meeting that took place on 4 September at Attari in Punjab. This was to basically discuss the modalities and also finalise the modalities for facilitation of pilgrims to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur," Kumar said.

"We had hoped that all pending issues will be resolved. However, we realise that Pakistan was quite inflexible during the talks and there are three instances where we approached them to show some flexibility," he added.

Kumar stated that Pakistan did not agree to the initial number (10,000) of pilgrims which India had proposed.

"That was not agreed to by them. They cited some constraints on the infrastructure side, but we did request them to show some flexibility on this," he said.

Kumar said that India remains committed to the Kartarpur corridor.

"We are on schedule. We are confident that all our projects will be completed before the scheduled time. We have urged Pakistan to show some flexibility. It is involving the sensitivity of the people," Kumar said.

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