The agreement on the Kartarpur Corridor is to be inked between Pakistan and India on October 23, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday. “In view of the long pending demand of pilgrims to have visa free access to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib and in the interest of operationalisation of Kartarpur Corridor in time before 12 Nov, Government conveys that we would be ready to sign Agreement on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on October 23,” the MEA said.
While agreeing to sign the pact, Delhi has urged the Government of Pakistan to reconsider its insistence to levy service fee of USD 20 on pilgrims.
“India would be ready to amend the Agreement accordingly at any time,” the MEA added.
MEA: In view of the long pending demand of pilgrims to have visa free access to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib& in the interest of operationalisation of Kartarpur Corridor in time before 12 Nov, Govt conveys that we would be ready to sign Agreement on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on 23Oct pic.twitter.com/TXiq9vgYUx— ANI (@ANI) October 21, 2019
India has criticised Pakistan for charging 20 US dollars from pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara through the much-awaited Kartarpur corridor. Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal today said that it is "highly shameful" for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to think that the service fee will boost his country's economy.
"The $20 fee each charged by Pak for Kartarpur Sahib darshan is atrocious. How will a poor devotee pay this amount? Pakistan has made a business out of faith. @ImranKhanPTI's statement that this fee will boost Pak's economy & result in earning foreign exchange is highly shameful," Harsimrat said in a tweet.
Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had also lashed out at Pakistan for demanding the USD 20 service charge, saying it was tantamount to "putting a ticket" on visiting the historic gurdwara.
On Sunday, Imran Khan had said that the Kartarpur corridor will open for the public on November 9.
Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the Ravi river, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
The four-lane highway connecting the Zero Point of the Kartarpur Corridor up to National Highway-354 is being constructed by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). The corridor will be opened in November in the wake of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.