Lahore: Pakistan and India signed the historic agreement for the Kartarpur Corridor on Thursday (October 24, 2019), according to a news source. This agreement gives Sikh pilgrims visa-free access to Sikhism’s sacred sites and gurdwaras in the Narowal district of Punjab.
Pakistan’s Director General South Asia and SAARC at the Foreign Office Dr Mohammad Faisal, and Indian Ministry of Home Affairs Joint Secretary S.C.L Das signed this agreement at the Kartarpur Zero Line on the Pakistan-India border in Narowal. Faisal stated that Prime Minister Imran Khan will formally inaugurate the corridor on November 9, well in time for the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.
He further added that pilgrims will be facilitated seven days a week, from dawn to dusk. Further details are yet to be revealed, but officials stated that Sikh pilgrims will have to carry their passports and pay a fee of USD 20 to use this corridor.
Other salient features of this agreement revealed till now are as follows:
- Travel will be visa-free, with the stipulation that all pilgrims carry their passport.
- Indian pilgrims and persons of Indian origin from all faiths can use this facility.
- Persons of Indian origin need to carry their Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cards, along with the passport of their country.
- Pilgrims can travel as individuals or groups, with the option to travel on foot also provided.
- The corridor will be open from dawn to dusk. Pilgrims visiting in the morning will have to return on the same day.
- It shall be operational throughout the year, unless notified otherwise in advance.
- India is to send Pakistan the list of pilgrims ten days in advance, and confirmation will be given four days prior to the travel date.
- Pakistan will give sufficient provisions for ‘langar’ and ‘prasad’.