On the day Pakistan announced that it would charge USD 20 per person as service fee for passage through the Kartarpur Corridor, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh sought PM Narendra Modi’s intervention to put pressure on Pakistan to withdraw its proposal.
In a letter to the PM, the Captain suggested that the Ministry of External Affairs take up the matter in the bilateral meetings for an early resolution, a government statement said.
Pakistan’s insistence on service charges would impose a significant financial burden on the lakhs of pilgrims seeking darshan of the gurdwara, many of whom may not be so well-off, said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister noted that on earlier occasions too, he had requested the Centre to intercede with the government of Pakistan not to levy any visa or other charges on the pilgrims visiting Sri Kartapur Sahib. This would be in fulfillment of the long-cherished desire to have “khulle darshan deedar” of the holy shrine of Sri Kartarpur in Pakistan, he stressed.
Amarinder underlined the historic importance of the corridor, slated to be opened as part 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November this year.
The proposed corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims.
Asked whether Pakistan would charge USD 20 per person as service fee for the Kartarpur Corridor, Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said, “This fee will only be charged to supplement the enormous expenditure which the government of Pakistan is undertaking to complete and maintain the corridor and to provide services to pilgrims.”
(With PTI inputs)