Kartarpur Corridor: Pakistan remains adamant on 20$ fee as it sends draft proposal to India

Pakistan has reverted back on the Indian draft on Kartarpur Corridor by sending its own proposal but has continued with the US $20 (approximately Rs 1450) fee per pilgrim, something on which New Delhi had voiced its concern in the last meet of officials in early September. 

Indian side has confirmed receiving the proposal by Pakistani side to WION. The proposal was sent on Friday by the Pakistani government to Indian High Commission, according to sources in Islamabad to WION. 

While Pakistan has agreed to India’s demand of letting the corridor being open to all of the followers of Baba Guru Nanak and not limiting it to Sikhs only, the draft agreement also mentioned about the exchange of lists of yatrees which will be done at least 10 days prior to them crossing over through the corridor. The Pakistani authorities would then be vetting these names and at least 4 days prior to these yatrees coming to Pakistan through the corridor, Pakistani side will be sending a final list of these to the Indian side.

Furthermore, the Pakistani draft agreement also mentions about the capacity and that a total of 5,000 pilgrims from India would cross over into Pakistan on daily basis and would be required to return the same day.

The corridor connects the Dera Babak Nanak shrine in Punjab's Gurdaspur with Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan.

The Kartarpur Corridor’s project director said that Pakistan aims at opening the Kartarpur corridor on the November 9 this year ahead of the 550th Birthday celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak which starts on November 11.

In case of agreement on the draft, both sides are expected to sign at a ceremony which could take place at the Wagah – Attari border or at the Zero Point of Dera Baba Nanak.

Pakistan and India have held three rounds of formal talks on the Kartarpur corridor’s draft agreement whereas the at-least four times technical level experts have met to discuss the nitty-gritty of the project.

The Kartarpur Corridor remained a long-standing demand of the Sikh community in India. Both Pakistan and Indian side began working on their side for the Kartarpur Corridor. The corridor will be visa-free for Indian pilgrims entering from India into Pakistan, first of its kind between the two countries.

Both sides plan to open the corridor, which was agreed last year, in early November. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Indian side of the corridor on November 8.