ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Pakistan and India on Monday agreed to sign an agreement on October 23 for the operationalisation of the Kartarpur corridor.
Both countries will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in this regard on October 23 after India accepted Pakistan s decision to charge $20 from each visitor for allowing Sikh pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara.
The agreement would be signed by Director General (SA & SAARC), Dr. Mohammad Faisal.
Earlier, Pakistan formally invited former prime minister of India Manmohan Singh to attend the opening ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor on the occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.
Speaking on the invitation to former PM Manmohan Singh, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Saturday said he (Manmohan Singh) will visit Pakistan as a ‘yatri’ (ordinary citizen) and not as chief guest for the corridor’s opening.
“He is welcome even as a common participant,” the Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said while talking to the media on Saturday.
Qureshi said PM Imran Khan would inaugurate Pakistan’s part of the corridor, facilitating pilgrimage of 5,000 Indian Sikhs everyday to their holy place. India was initially reluctant to open the corridor but due to public pressure from the Indian Punjab, New Delhi decided to arrange a ceremony related to the corridor the same day, he said, adding that the arrangements made by Pakistan were way better than those being finalised by India.
The corridor will also be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since their independence in 1947.
Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border is being constructed by India.
India is constructing a bridge at the zero point and has urged Pakistan to build a similar bridge on its side that will provide safe and secure movement of pilgrims.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.
Reacting to India’s move on Kashmir, Pakistan has taken a number of actions, including downgrading of diplomatic ties, suspension of trade and rail traffic, and expulsion of the Indian High Commissioner.