Clarify if passport is needed for Kartarpur visit, govt asks Pakistan

Construction works underway at the Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan side, as Gurdwara Darbar Sahib is seen in the background, Thursday, Oct 24, 2019 | Photo: PTI
India has asked Pakistan to clarify whether passport will be required to visit Kartarpur Sahib, government sources said on Wednesday.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has tweeted that passport will not be required, but according to the agreement, passport will be needed.

If there is a change, the agreement has to be amended, the sources said.

"Our security agencies will be careful. Pakistan's larger aim is to encourage separatism.

"Pakistan is yet to respond to India's request to allow visit of advance teams to see arrangements for high dignitaries and convey requirements which they will require," a source said.

The source said Pakistan has been asked to make adequate arrangements for high-level dignitaries.

The Kartarpur Corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, just four kilometres from the International Border, located at Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province.

Notwithstanding a chill in bilateral ties over Kashmir, Pakistan and India after tough negotiations signed a landmark agreement in October to operationalise the Kartarpur Corridor to allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy Darbar Sahib in Pakistan.

The two countries decided that 5,000 pilgrims can visit the shrine everyday and that additional pilgrims will be allowed on special occasions, subject to capacity expansion of facilities by the Pakistani side.

India and Pakistan have also decided that the corridor will be operational through the year and seven days a week and that pilgrims, except kids and elderly persons, will have a choice to visit it as individuals or in groups.

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