India and Pakistan are scheduled to sign the agreement on Kartarpur corridor on October 24 (Thursday). Earlier on Monday, the External Affairs Ministry (EAM) had said in a statement that India would sign the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor agreement with Pakistan on October 23 despite Islamabad's reluctance to withdraw the service fee of USD 20 (around Rs 1,500) on each pilgrim.
The EAM had also said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre wants to finalise the agreement on October 23 in order to operationalise the Kartarpur corridor before November 12 in view of the demand of pilgrims to have visa-free access to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.
“While agreeing to sign the agreement, the Government of Pakistan has been once again urged to reconsider its insistence to levy service fee of $20 on pilgrims. India would be ready to amend the Agreement accordingly at any time,” the MEA had said.
The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. The corridor will facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev. The corridor will also be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours, according to reports.
PM Modi will inaugurate the Indian side of Kartarpur corridor on November 9, while his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan will inaugurate the project from Pakistan's side on the same day.