Kartarpur Corridor: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Urges Pakistan PM To Withdraw $20 Fee On Pilgrims
The construction of the 4.2 km-long corridor will be completed by 31 October, a week before the celebrations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev.
Pointing out that devotees would be placing 'chadawa' (offerings) at the gurdwara of their own volition anyway, Singh had earlier this week said that Sikhism propounds ''khulle darshan'', an ideology that Pakistan seemed bent on violating. Last month, Amarinder Singh had equated the service charge to "jaziya" (a tax on non-Muslims).
"It is tantamount to putting a ticket on visiting the gurdwara. How will the poor pilgrims pay this amount," he asked. The Punjab government, Singh said, was working closely with the Centre to ensure that all infrastructure-related and other works for the Kartarpur Corridor are completed well in time.
I appeal to @ImranKhanPTI to withdraw $20 fee imposed by @pid_gov on pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib to faciliate ‘khulle darshan deedar’ of the final resting place of SRI Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The world Sikh community will be grateful to you for this gesture.
— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) October 18, 2019
He hoped that Pakistan too would meet its promised deadline to make the 550th ''Prakash Purb'' truly historic for the Sikh community. Singh had also made it clear that he would not be visiting Pakistan but would merely go through the special corridor to visit Kartarpur Gurdwara Sahib.
On Thursday, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar in a press conference urged Pakistan not to impose the proposed $ 20 fee on pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in the interest of devotees and hoped that the agreement will be signed on time ahead of the inaugural opening of the corridor.
According to reports, the construction of the 4.2 km-long corridor will be completed by 31 October, a week before the celebrations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev. The Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province, located 4.5 km from the border near Dera Baba Nanak, is highly revered among Sikhs as it was the place where Guru Nanak spent 18 years of his life and is his final resting place.
The corridor is expected to be inaugurated on 8 November and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh is to lead an all-party delegation across the border to Kartarpur Sahib on the opening day of the Kartarpur Corridor on 9 November.
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