Pak makes U-turn, to charge USD 20 fee from pilgrims on opening day of Kartarpur Corridor
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: In a U-turn, Pakistan on Friday said that it will charge an entry fee of USD 20 from pilgrims coming to Kartarpur on the opening day of the corridor on Saturday.
Last week, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced that no fee would be charged from the pilgrims on the opening day of the corridor on November 9 and on Sikhism founder Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary on November 12.
Citing Khan’s remark, Pakistan Foreign Office had also confirmed this on Thursday that no fees would be charged from the pilgrims on the opening day of the corridor.
“However, it was not immediately clear whether the fee will also be charged from those travelling in the official 550-member official jatha or delegation,” news agency PTI quoted government sources as saying.
Earlier, New Delhi had raised objection over Islamabad’s decision to charge fee from the pilgrims which even led to delay in launching online registration for the pilgrims intending to visit the site.
Meanwhile, the Indian Sikh pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Sahib will also need a passport to use the Kartarpur Corridor, Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor had said on Thursday.
"As we have a security link, the entry would be a legal one under a permit on a passport-based identity. There will be no compromise on security or sovereignty," Ghafoor had said.
The Kartarpur Corridor, which will be opened on Saturday, will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur. It will provide a visa-free access to Indian Sikhs to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib.
According to the agreement between the two sides, 5,000 Indian pilgrims will daily visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib where Guru Nanak spent last 18 years of his life. The corridor will be operational through the year and seven days a week and that pilgrims, except kids and elderly persons, will have a choice to visit it as individuals or in groups.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma