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Kartarpur corridor: Pakistan fails to allow visit of Indian advance team

File photo: Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 05, 2019, 07.15 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

With just three days left before the opening of the Kartarpur corridor on November 9, Pakistan is yet to allow the visit of Indian advance teams to Kartarpur Gurudwara to check the arrangements that have been made and also hasn't given confirmation to the list New Delhi had sent of prominent Indian Sikh leaders who are part of the inaugural jatha

Sources said Pakistan refused to "extend full cooperation" which is against the "spirit of pilgrimage" and this "despite Pakistan's insistence" on levying $20 service fee on the pilgrims.

India had shared the list of 575 pilgrims which will go in the inaugural jatha to the Kartarpur Sahib and includes former PM Dr Manmohan Singh, Union Ministers Hardeep Puri and Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Punjab Chief Minister Amrinder Singh and several MPs and MLAs from Punjab.

Islamabad has made a number of arrangements for the opening of Kartarpur corridor on its side which will be inaugurated by Pakistan PM Imran Khan but government sources said, "Pakistan has unilaterally decided on the programme and timing of the inaugural jatha" without taking input from the Indian side.

In fact, Islamabad hasn't even shared critical information like availability of medical facilities and security arrangements of pilgrims, Indian government sources said. 

This comes even as Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan in a tweet last week said Sikh pilgrims coming from India for a pilgrimage to Kartarpur are not required to carry passports but only valid ID and won't be required to register ten days in advance. 

Sources said this has created confusion since, in the MOU signed in October, the passport was a necessary requirement and Islamabad hasn't bothered to get back to India after Imran Khan's tweet announcement leading to confusion among the pilgrims.

Last year both India and Pakistan had agreed on the opening of the Kartarpur corridor to the Kartarpur Gurudwara on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji. Founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Devji, spent the last 18 years of his life in the Gurudwara which is just a few kilometres away from the International border with India. 

Story highlights

Islamabad has made a number of arrangements for the opening of Kartarpur corridor on its side which will be inaugurated by Pakistan PM Imran Khan.