Pakistan’s prime minister Imran Khan on Friday (November 1) announced that Indian pilgrims visiting the Darbar Sahib Gurdwara at Kartarpur in Punjab province, wouldn’t be charged the pilgrims’ fee on the opening day of the corridor on November 9 and on the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak on November 12. Khan also announced that Indian pilgrims need not carry a passport and an ID card would suffice.
“For Sikhs coming for pilgrimage to Kartarpur from India, I have waived off 2 requirements: i) they won’t need a passport – just a valid ID; ii) they no longer have to register 10 days in advance. Also, no fee will be charged on day of inauguration & on Guruji’s 550th birthday,” Khan tweeted.
India, however, had sought a complete waiver of the pilgrims’ fee which is $20 (around ₹1,417) per day.
The Kartarpur corridor runs from the Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan to the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in the Gurdaspur district of the Indian side of Punjab. The corridor, which was built after both the countries signed an agreement, will help Sikh pilgrims to access shrines on either side of the border. It will enable Indian pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan, which was established in 1522.
The Indian part of the corridor will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 9. A 575-member jatha (procession) will cross the corridor to the Darbar Sahib gurdwara. After a series of talks, both countries arrived at the decision that Pakistan would allow 5,000 Sikh visitors per day through the corridor without asking for a visa.