Pakistan, India sign agreement on Kartarpur Corridor

Published October 24, 2019
Pakistan and India signed the agreement on Kartarpur Corridor on Thursday, paving the way for its inauguration next month ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev. 
— Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan
Pakistan and India signed the agreement on Kartarpur Corridor on Thursday, paving the way for its inauguration next month ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev. — Photo courtesy Radio Pakistan
Dr Mohammad Faisal, director general (South Asia and Saarc) at the Foreign Office, and Indian Ministry of Home Affairs Joint Secretary S.C.L. Das signed the agreement at zero line, Pakistan - India Narowal border on Thursday, Oct 24. — DawnNewsTV
Dr Mohammad Faisal, director general (South Asia and Saarc) at the Foreign Office, and Indian Ministry of Home Affairs Joint Secretary S.C.L. Das signed the agreement at zero line, Pakistan - India Narowal border on Thursday, Oct 24. — DawnNewsTV

Pakistan and India signed the agreement on Kartarpur Corridor on Thursday, paving the way for its inauguration next month ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev.

Dr Mohammad Faisal, director general (South Asia and Saarc) at the Foreign Office, and Indian Ministry of Home Affairs Joint Secretary S.C.L. Das signed the agreement at the Pakistan-India border in Narowal.

After the signing ceremony, Foreign Office spokesman Dr Faisal said that as per the initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the agreement has been signed while a formal inauguration of the project will be held on November 9.

Read more: 5 gurdwaras that could be made part of Kartarpur Corridor

"[They] were very very difficult and tough negotiations," he said while talking about the several rounds of dialogues between the two sides over the project.

"Under the agreement, the corridor will remain open seven days a week from dawn to dusk," he said, adding that the pilgrims [through the corridor] would arrive in the day and leave by evening.

The FO spokesperson said that the project will facilitate 5,000 pilgrims a day.

"It is the biggest gurdwara in the world. This is how we treat minorities in the country, this is our approach towards minorities. It is in line with the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)," he said.

He said that the first group of pilgrims will come on November 9. Sharing further details of the agreement, he said the pilgrims who come through the corridor will not require a visa. They will have to carry their passports which will be scanned but not stamped, he said.

Dr Faisal said that under the agreement, the Indian authorities will provide a list of pilgrims 10 days ahead of their visit.

While responding to a question, he said that local Sikh pilgrims will also be allowed to visit the sacred place and a pass will be issued to them.

"There is no change in the country's position on India-occupied Kashmir," he said while responding to another question.

The agreement was finalised after three rounds of negotiations. The negotiations were protracted because of deep differences on various provisions of the agreement, the Pulwama stand-off, Indian reservations over the composition of the committee set up to look after the affairs of the corridor, and elections in India.

The last sticking point was the $20 service fee that Pakistan would charge from every pilgrim for a single trip. However, India reluctantly agreed to it. Pakistan is currently working out the mechanism for charging the $20 fee from the pilgrims.

Following the inauguration of the corridor, a visa free link between Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur and Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab will open for the pilgrims.

Opinion

A ventilator for democracy
Updated 15 Jun 2021

A ventilator for democracy

Chomsky has analysed Biden’s foreign policy succinctly, which is essentially not very different from Trump’s in most ways.
State of IKonomy
15 Jun 2021

State of IKonomy

PTI’s economic record is not rosy as some say it is.
Not by words alone
Updated 14 Jun 2021

Not by words alone

A policy shift must be backed by substance otherwise it is a statement of intent not a strategy.

Editorial

15 Jun 2021

Middle East’s plight

THE Middle East is geopolitically and economically perhaps the most important region of the world, home to much of...
Thoughtless eviction
Updated 15 Jun 2021

Thoughtless eviction

Promised compensation of Rs20,000 per month for two years is hardly worth the adversity evicted residents have to undergo.
15 Jun 2021

Cinema ‘industry’?

THE vast gap that often exists between the state’s intentions and its actual efficiency was evident in the third...
Power shortages
Updated 14 Jun 2021

Power shortages

It is high time that governance and structural reforms were introduced in the energy sector.
14 Jun 2021

Suicide in Thar

THARPARKAR is an appropriate case study for examining the factors that lead some people to the desperate, final act...
14 Jun 2021

Water woes

THIS past week saw a discussion on a water management system that, if properly implemented, should go some way...