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Pakistan finalises 14-point agreement on Kartarpur corridor

Islamabad has proposed steps including security clearance of Sikh pilgrims by Indian authorities and possession of valid Indian passports for visiting the Gurdwara in Kartarpur, Pakistan, where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, died in 1539.

india Updated: Dec 30, 2018 00:00 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
Kartarpur corridor,India-Pakistan border
A view of the shrine of Sikh leader Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur, Pakistan on November 28.(PTI Photo)

Pakistan has finalised the draft of a 14-point agreement with India on the basis of which Indian pilgrims will be allowed to enter the country to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur through a special corridor that is expected to be operational by November 2019.

The proposed agreement was to be sent to India, but was leaked to the Pakistani media ahead of its dispatch.

According to Pakistani officials quoted by local media, the draft document had been readied, but it hadn’t been approved as yet and had not been shared with India.

Islamabad has proposed steps including security clearance of Sikh pilgrims by Indian authorities and possession of valid Indian passports for visiting the Gurdwara in Kartarpur, Pakistan, where Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, died in 1539.

Read more| Full text of Pakistan’s 14-point proposals for Kartarpur pilgrimage

Pakistan has also proposed that a maximum of 500 pilgrims from India should be able to visit the holy site daily in groups of 15 between 8am and 5pm. It proposed visa-free entry for Indian pilgrims, and the setting up of facilitation centres and security checkposts within the planned corridor on both sides of the India-Pakistan border.

Pakistan shall issue a special permit to Sikh pilgrims ahead of their visit to Kartarpur and the Indian government would share the list of pilgrims with Pakistan three days in advance, according to the proposal. Both countries would compile records of the visitors, which will include their names, travel details and other relevant information.

Pakistan has also suggested that local authorities will reserve the right to refuse admission to any pilgrim.

Indian officials in New Delhi said they had no knowledge of the proposed agreement.

On November 28, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor, which will connect Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan’s Narowal to Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur.

Vice president M Venkaiah Naidu laid the digital foundation stone of the project on the Indian side on November 26.

India and Pakistan recently launched work on their sections of the corridor that is expected to be opened on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November next year.

Read more| 3-day advance list, security clearance on Pakistan’s Kartarpur pilgrimage proposals

First Published: Dec 29, 2018 23:58 IST