India will stay engaged with Pakistan to sort out ‘minor hiccups’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 06, 2019

Sikh devotees leaving for Pakistan via Attari-Wagah border   -  PTI

Inauguration of the border corridor on Nov 9 to be attended by 575 pilgrims from both the countries

India has said that it is facing some problems in coordinating with Pakistan for the inaugural event of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor later this week but it would stay engaged to overcome the ‘minor hiccups’.

Problems such as delay in clearances for advance teams and vetting of list of Indian visitors by Islamabad was creating uncertainty in terms of movement, a government official said on Wednesday.

“Pakistan is yet to respond to India’s request to allow visit of advance teams to review arrangements for high dignitaries and convey requirements which they will require,” he said.

Moreover, Islamabad had not sent back, till Wednesday evening, the final list of Indian pilgrims who had received clearance from the country for the visit. About 575 pilgrims will attend the inaugural ‘jatha’ to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib through Kartarpur corridor on November 9 which includes dignitaries such as former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Punjab CM Amarinder Singh. The event will mark the 550th birth anniversary celebration of Guru Nanak.

The Kartarpur corridor will link Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan, which is the final resting place of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, to Dera Baba Nanak in Gudaspur district in India.

Although Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan recently said that his country had waived passport requirement for the visit of Sikh pilgrims to Kartarpur, the Indian government is yet to receive any official correspondence on the matter.

“India is going strictly by the agreement signed between India and Pakistan on the visit of pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib. If there is a change, the agreement has to be amended,” the official said.

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 throughout 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.

Published on November 06, 2019

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