india-signs-kartarpur-sahib-corridor-agreement-with-pakistan

Union Cabinet passed a resolution on 22 November 2018 to celebrate the historic occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Devji in a grand and befitting manner, throughout the country and across the globe. A formal framework has been laid down for the operationalization of the agreement and the highlights of the agreement are:

  • Indian pilgrims of all faiths and person of Indian origin can use the corridor;
  • The travel will be Visa Free.
  • Pilgrims need to carry only a valid passport.
  • Persons of Indian Origin need to carry OCI card along with the passport of their country. The Corridor is open from dawn to dusk. Pilgrims traveling in the morning will have to return on the same day.
  • The Corridor will be operational throughout the year, except on notified days, to be informed in advance;
  • Pilgrims will have a choice to visit as individuals or in groups, and also to travel on foot;
  • India will send the list of pilgrims to Pakistan 10 days ahead of the travel date. Confirmation will be sent to pilgrims 4 days before the travel date;
  • The Pakistan side has assured India to make sufficient provision for ‘Langar’ and distribution of ‘Prasad’;

Concerns:

  • Pakistan to levies US Dollars 20 as service charge: India urging Pakistan on not to levy any service fee as it is not in consonance with the religious and spiritual sentiments of Indian pilgrims.
  • However, India has signed an agreement for early operationalization and agreed to amend accordingly.
  • Pakistan has spent about Rs 1,000 crore on the Kartarpur corridor infrastructure.it would be providing other facilities to pilgrims like langar, e -Rickshaws etc.in the light of huge expenses Pakistan says this amount is nominal.
  • Pakistan has said that Indian pilgrims who enter Pakistan through the Kartarpur corridor will not be allowed to visit other gurdwaras in the Punjab province of that country. They would have to come via the normal route, after applying for a visa and paying the requisite fees.
  • India also continues to pursue all-weather connectivity and expects that Pakistan will build a bridge on its side at the earliest.
  • The Indian government has shown its concerns that the corridor might be used by Pakistan to undermine India's security, in the interest of the Sikhs' desire for access to the site. 
  • India also has concerns about the Kartarpur gurdwara being used for Pakistani supported pro-Khalistan separatist movement propaganda

India Signs Kartarpur Sahib Corridor Agreement With Pakistan

About Kartarpur Corridor:
  • The Kartarpur Corridor is an under-construction border corridor between the neighboring nations of India and Pakistan, connecting the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib (located in Punjab, India) and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur (in Punjab, Pakistan). 
  • Currently, under planning, the corridor is intended to allow religious devotees from India to visit the Gurdwara in Kartarpur, 4.7 kilometers (2.9 miles) from the Pakistan-India border, without a visa.
  • The first guru of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, founded Kartarpur in 1504 CE on the right bank of the Ravi River and established the first Sikh commune there.

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