Islamabad/New Delhi: Pakistan has gone back on the Indian draft on Kartarpur corridor by sending its own proposal and has continued with its demand of asking the $20-fee (approximately Rs 1,500) per pilgrim, something on which New Delhi had voiced its concern when the last India-Pakistan officials' meet in early September.
The Indian side has confirmed receiving the proposal by Pakistani side to WION. The proposal was sent on Friday by the Pakistani government to the Indian High Commission according to sources in Islamabad to WION.
The draft agreement mentioned that the exchange of lists of yatris will be done at least 10 days prior to them crossing over to Pakistan through the corridor with Islamabad and then the vetting of names will be done at least four days prior to these yatris coming to Pakistan through the corridor.
In case of the agreement of 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 while 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 the 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 on in early November. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 4.5-km-long Kartarpur Corridor, linking the Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Dera Baba Nanak to the Kartarpur Sahib shrine in Pakistan, on November 8.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had earlier met PM Narendra Modi in Delhi and invited him for the Kartarpur Corridor opening. Both President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Modi had accepted Punjab CM’s invite to attend 550th Prakash Parv celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev Ji in November.
Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, all Punjab MPs, and MLAs, will attend the ceremony.
CM Singh will also take the first batch of pilgrims which will cross over to Pakistan that day. Among other dignitaries, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh will also visit Pakistan for the inauguration of the historic Kartarpur Corridor on November 9.
The former PM had also accepted the invitation of Punjab's Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to join the first batch of pilgrims going to the Kartarpur Gurudwara on November 9.
He will also attend the main event on the Indian side at Sultanpur Lodhi. Dr Singh will be part of the first Jatha (batch) of pilgrims going to Kartarpur along with Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Chief Minister's media advisor Raveen Thakral said.