Chandigarh, September 14, 2019: The Bharatiya Janata Party today strongly criticized Pakistan’s proposal to charge $20 as Service Fee from all the Sikhs wishing to visit Kartarpur Sahib from Indian side through the corridor and termed it yet another attempt of the neighbouring country to scuttle the scheduled opening of the corridor.
Tarun Chugh, the national secretary of the BJP, said the $20 fee was nothing but Jazia to be charged from Sikhs which Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government won’t allow at any cost.
Chugh urged Pak Prime Minsiter Imran Khan to intervene and let the process finalise as it was a religious and emotional issue for crores of pilgrims who follow the teachings of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji.
The BJP leader said here in India, no fee or charge is taken from any of the devotees for visiting to have darshans of shrines of various religions. “Then how the government of India can accede to a totally unjustified proposal put forth by Pakistan,” he said.
Chugh said that the government of Pakistan has acceded to a long-pending demand of Sikhs and the government of India for a corridor which could facilitate Sikhs and others from India to visit and pay their obeisance at the holy shrine in Kartarpur across the border.
“Instead of facilitating the scheduled start, Pakistan had been trying to scuttle the project by one way or the other. It first laid down various conditions for visas and also made number of pilgrims an issue. Now it has come up with this $20 fee proposal,” Chugh said adding that it was a proposal which was not acceptable either to the Sikh sangat or the government.
The BJP national secretary said the Prime Minister had given clear instructions to the MEA officers involved in the process to tell their Pakistani counterparts that the pilgrims visiting the shrine should neither be taxed nor face any kind of harassment or inconvenience during their visit to pay obeisance.