Breakthrough on Kartarpur Corridor

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IN an important development, Pakistan and India have agreed
to sign the agreement pertaining to the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor. This indeed is great news for the Sikh community who had been waiting for the opening of this Corridor since long in order to have an easy access to their most revered place. The Corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims. Under the agreement, at least 5,000 pilgrims will be allowed to visit the holy site every day.
Despite belligerence on the line of control by the Indian forces and their atrocities on innocent Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir, Pakistan has fulfilled the commitment made to the Sikh community by agreeing to open the Kartarpur Corridor on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak. The way Pakistani government completed work on the Kartarpur Corridor including the renovation of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib indeed is commendable. This sends a clear message to the world that Pakistan stands for peace and interfaith harmony. It is also for India to come out of uncalled for propaganda against Pakistan especially on the issue of service fee of twenty dollars. Even the Pakistani pilgrims that go to Makkah and Madina for pilgrimage, they have to pay the visa fee and they happily do so in order to perform the religious rituals. But Pakistan as a goodwill gesture has shown open heartedness to the Sikh community by deciding not to take visa fee from the visiting pilgrims. Twenty dollars service fee is only for the arrangements and logistics as well as the security measures put in place to facilitate the visit of pilgrims. In fact the amount is not so big that the pilgrims cannot afford. It is just peanuts whilst the government of Pakistan is spending millions of rupees to ensure hassle free access of pilgrims to Darbar Sahib. We therefore urge the Indian government to stop its propaganda against the service fee as it amounts to dampening the spirit of Kartarpur Corridor and through this it cannot create anti-Pakistan sentiments amongst the Sikh community who are greatly appreciative of Pakistan’s initiative for opening the corridor.

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