Millennium Post

Pilgrims will have to pay $20, India 'disappointed'

Pilgrims will have to pay $20, India disappointed

New Delhi: India on Monday said it is ready to sign an agreement with Pakistan on October 23 for the operationalisation of the Kartarpur Corridor, even as it expressed "disappointment" over Islamabad's insistence on levying $20 service fee per pilgrim and asked it to reconsider its decision.

The government has taken the initiative to put in place state of art infrastructure and open the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on the auspicious occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev so that pilgrims from India and those holding Overseas Citizen of India Card can undertake visit to the holy Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

"In view of the long pending demand of the pilgrims to have visa-free access to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib and in the interest of operationalisation of the corridor in time before the Guru Nanak's birth anniversary on November 12, the government on Monday conveyed that India would be ready to sign the agreement on the corridor on Wednesday," the MEA said.

While agreeing to sign the agreement, the Pakistani government has once again been urged to reconsider its insistence to levy service fee on pilgrims, it said, adding India would be ready to amend the agreement accordingly at any time.

The corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Punjab with the gurdwara at Kartarpur, just about four kilometres from the international border, located at Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province.

India and Pakistan had planned to open the corridor in early November before the year-long celebrations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism who had spent more than 18 years at the Kartarpur gurdwara, located on the banks of the river Ravi.

MPOST BUREAU

MPOST BUREAU

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