Imran waives passport for Kartarpur pilgrims, India refuses

MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said an agreement was signed between the two countries finalising modalities for visits by Indian pilgrims and India will stick to it. No change can be made unilaterally

Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib in Narowal, Pakistan.
Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib in Narowal, Pakistan.
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PTI

Two days ahead of the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor, India on Thursday said conflicting reports are coming from Pakistan on whether Indian pilgrims will require passport to visit the Darbar Sahib shrine using the new facility.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said an agreement was signed between the two countries finalising the modalities for visits by Indian pilgrims and India will stick to it.

"Conflicting reports are coming from Pakistan. Sometimes they say passport is needed and sometimes they say it is not required. As of now, there is a bilateral agreement which specified required documents," he said.

Kumar said amendments cannot be made unilaterally.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has tweeted that passport will not be required, but according to the agreement, passport will be needed.

Khan, in a tweet on November 1 said: “For Sikhs coming for pilgrimage to Kartarpur from India, I have waived off 2 requirements: i) they won’t need a passport - just a valid ID ii) They no longer have to register 10 days in advance. Also, no fee will be charged on day of inauguration and on Guruji's 550th birthday.

Raveesh Kumar also said that Pakistan is yet to confirm the list of Indian dignitaries who will attend the Kartarpur opening ceremony on the Pakistani side.

"We are presuming that all names we have shared with Pakistani side for inaugural jatha have been cleared," he said.

The MEA spokesperson also asked Pakistan to ensure adequate security to Indian dignitaries attending the event.

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