Chandigarh,February 6,2019: Pilgrims from India who intend to visit Darbar Sahib Gurudwara in Kartarpur, Pakistan through a special corridor may require a passport along with the permit slip. The decision came forth during a high-level meeting in New Delhi chaired by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba convened to discuss how to fast-track the implementation of the Kartarpur corridor project.
Among those present at the meeting were Punjab Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, BSF DG RK Misra and Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria. This is for the first time that Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan was the part of this meeting.
While talking to Babushahi.com, Karan Avtar Singh said that permit slip will be issued for the entry but passport would be required to visit Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur. The Indian side has in this clarified that passport would be mandatory to visit the shrine.
However it may be mentioned that Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had written to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on January 15, seeking passport waiver for the pilgrims who will be visiting the historic Sri Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan during 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev. But a passport would be required for the entry as per the latest information.
"Visit will be open from dawn to the dusk and pilgrims will have to return back the same day", informed Singh.
Besides this, two other important clauses have been added in a draft agreement that is being prepared by the Indian government. One, the pilgrimage will not only be restricted to the Sikhs, two, the visits would not be restricted to groups but individual pilgrims would also be allowed to visit the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. Captain Amarinder Singh had raised both the issues in his letter citing that Guru Nanak was a preacher for every community, not only Sikhs. Singh had also objected on the proposal of Pakistan government to only allow pilgrims in groups.
Meanwhile, India to send a draft agreement for Kartarpur corridor to Pakistan within a month which will facilitate easy passage to Sikh pilgrims to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan.
"Land acquisition will end by March as it is already in second stage of progress", said Singh.
Preliminary notification for land acquisition for the highway has already been issued and the notification to acquire land for Integrated Check Post will be issued on Wednesday.
Pakistan delegation is expected to visit India on February 26 and March 7 to finalise modalities.