By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan and India have signed agreement to operationalise the Kartarpur corridor ahead of its formal opening on November 9.
The signing ceremony was held on zero line at India-Pakistan international border on Thursday.
— Radio Pakistan (@RadioPakistan) October 24, 2019
The corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab with the Gurdwara in Kartarpur town in Pakistan. Pilgrims will only have to carry their passports to visit the revered Gurdwara.
The significance of the signing of the bilateral treaty between the two sides comes at a time when bilateral relations are at an all-time low and no high-level meetings between the two sides have been held.
While there have been several agreements between the two sides, very few have been signed by them. In 1974, a Bilateral Agreement on Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines was signed.
Sikh Yatrees will be permitted to visit the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib from morning till evening. 5,000 Yatrees will travel through the corridor, Dr Faisal said while addressing the media after the signing of the agreement, Pakistan’s Foreign office spokesman Dr. Muhammad Faisal briefed the newsmen after the signing ceremony.
“There will be a $20 per visitor per visit, as service charges.” Dr Faisal said, adding that the prime minister will inaugurate the corridor on November 9.
Pakistan says it is still working on the invitations for the inauguration of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, though one was sent to former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh who hails from a village Gah in Indian Punjab.
The inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor would coincide with the birth anniversary celebrations of founder of Sikhism Baba Guru Nanak Sahib. “Pakistan is all set to open its doors to Sikhs from all across the globe,” the PM Imran Khan recently tweeted. “The world’s largest Gurdwara will be visited by Sikhs from across India and other parts of the world,” he said.
The prime minister said the Kartarpur Corridor will be a major religious hub for the Sikh community. “(It) will boost the local economy (and) result in earning foreign exchange for the country creating jobs in different sectors including travel and hospitality.”