New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Indian government on Monday said that it is ready to sign an agreement with Pakistan to operationalise the Kartarpur Sahib corridor. The government, however, expressed its disappointment that Pakistan continues to insist on levying a service fee of USD 20 per pilgrim per visit to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib.

“While agreeing to sign the Agreement, the Government of Pakistan has been once again urged to reconsider its insistence to levy service fee on pilgrims. India would be ready to amend the Agreement accordingly at any time,” said the Ministry of External Affairs in a statement confirming that India is ready to sign the agreement on October 23 to operationalise the corridor.

“It is a matter of disappointment that while understanding has been reached on most of the elements for facilitating the visit of pilgrims from India, Pakistan continues to insist on levying a service fee of USD 20 per pilgrim per visit. Government has consistently urged Pakistan that in deference to the wishes of the pilgrims, it should not levy such a fee,” the MEA added in its statement.

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In its statement, the MEA also said that the government has also taken the initiative to put in place the state of art infrastructure and open the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on the auspicious occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji.

“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 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak falling on November 12, Government has today conveyed that we would be ready to sign the Agreement on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on October 23, 2019,” the MEA said.

Meanwhile, news agency ANI reported that Pakistan has agreed to sign the Agreement on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on October 23.

The Kartarpur Corridor will connect the Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in the Gurdaspur district of Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims.

Earlier, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that the corridor will open on November 9.

(With ANI and PTI inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma