A senior official on Monday said that Pakistan will open the much-awaited Kartarpur Corridor for Indian-Sikh pilgrims on 9 November, three days before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.
Eighty-six percent of the work on the corridor has been completed and it will be opened for pilgrims on 9 November, project director Atif Majid told Pakistani and foreign journalists, who were visiting the Kartarpur Corridor for the first time in Narowal, some 125 kilometres from Lahore .
The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims, who will only have to obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib.
Both countries have agreed that Pakistan will allow 5,000 Sikh visitors per day, though the number will later rise to 10,000 Majid said.
Majid said that 76 immigration counters have been set up to cater to the pilgrims, who will be given "airport-like facilities". The Pakistan Gurdwara Sikh Parbhandik Committee will provide the visiting pilgrims with free food and medicine, the official added.
Last week, India asked Pakistan to reconsider its position on levying a service charge of $20 on pilgrims visiting the shrine. External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India urged Pakistan to show some flexibility on two other issues: allowing 10,000 pilgrims on special occasions and Indian protocol officer to accompany the delegation that visits Kartarpur everyday.
Tensions spiked between India and Pakistan after New Delhi abrogated provisions of Article 370, which granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan however, maintained that the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor will not be affected.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Sep 16, 2019 20:37:47 IST