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Sunday, Sep 22, 2019

Pakistan imposes $20 charge on pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara

Earlier this month, India and Pakistan failed to reach an agreement on the Kartarpur corridor following differences over key issues, including Islamabad’s insistence on charging a fee for allowing pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib

india Updated: Sep 12, 2019 15:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Construction work in progress on the Kartarpur Corridor at Dera Baba Nanak district of Punjab’s Gurdaspur.
Construction work in progress on the Kartarpur Corridor at Dera Baba Nanak district of Punjab’s Gurdaspur.(HT Correspondent)
         

Pakistan on Thursday said that pilgrims visiting Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara will be required to pay $20 as service charge. The Kartarpur corridor is meant to connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.

“Pakistan will charge USD 20 per person as service fees, not entrance fees, for Kartarpur Corridor,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said in a weekly briefing.

“This is meant to cover 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the costs, which is only a small part of the expenditure,” Faisal said adding that this would cover the expenditure on the construction of facilities for the pilgrims on the Pakistani side.

Earlier this month, India and Pakistan failed to reach an agreement on the Kartarpur corridor following differences over key issues, including Islamabad’s insistence on charging a fee for allowing pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.

Read: Can Kartarpur Corridor help dial down India-Pak tensions | Opinion

“Owing to certain differences on a few key issues, the agreement between India and Pakistan could not be finalised. Pakistan has insisted on charging a service fee for allowing pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, which is not agreeable,” B C L Das, leader of the Indian delegation and joint secretary, Internal Security in the Home Ministry said.

He also added: “India has persisted that it should be free for the pilgrims who wish to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. However, Pakistan has shown extreme inflexibility on the issue and they haven’t accommodated our request.”

During the meeting, both the sides also agreed on visa-free travel by Indian pilgrims to the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan using the corridor. Moreover, it will allow as many as 5,000 pilgrims to visit the Gurdwara every day.

First Published: Sep 12, 2019 15:27 IST