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Friday, April 12, 2024

Imran Khan Almost Took Price Off For Sikhs to Visit Kartarpur

In an expression of love and humbleness towards the Sikh community travelling to Pakistan for the revered festival of 550th Guru Nanak birth anniversary, PM Khan has announced special waivers for Sikh pilgrims. The waiver may help silence the anti-Pakistan voices who slammed Pakistan for making a business out of religion.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced two special waivers for the Sikh pilgrims visiting Pakistan to commemorate the 550th Baba Guru Nanak birth anniversary next week.

He announced the waivers on his Twitter account on Friday. To facilitate the Sikh pilgrims, he asserted that the travellers from Kartarpur Corridor would not require a passport as long as they have a valid National ID card. He also waived the requirement for pre-registration of visitors 10 days in advance, and that no fees would be charged on the day of inauguration and Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.

Former Indian-occupied Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti appreciated the decision. The decision has been made to facilitate the Sikh visitors, who mostly are poor farmers living in nearby border areas. Moreover, the anti-Pakistan segments in India had criticized Pakistan for making the revered religious festival as a source of earning revenues for Pakistan’s economy.

Read more: Politicking over Kartarpur Corridor: India Accuses Pakistan of “Making Business out of Religion”

As per the agreement, Pakistan will charge $20 with each Sikh pilgrim travelling to Pakistan through Kartarpur Corridor. Other prominent Sikh leaders have also hailed the Prime Minister’s decision.


Social Media Concerned

Social media praised the decision of Imran Khan but groups of Pakistani social media users, however, have raised concerns about the waiving of passport requirements. They were sceptical of the second provision adding that under the tense security situation between India and Pakistan, the waiving off of passport requirement is equivalent to jeopardizing the security of Pakistan.

The move, however, will cheer the thousands of Sikh pilgrims set to visit Kartarpur after Indian Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur had accused Pakistan of using Kartarpur Corridor for reaping profits under the garb of promoting religious tourism.

Earlier, The government of Pakistan has issued commemorative coins on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak on Tuesday. The move comes ahead of the inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor scheduled on November 9th, which will also coincide with Pakistan’s Iqbal Day.

Read more: Pakistan & Sikhs: A Relation of Love, Respect & Religion

Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor, which will provide visa-free passage between Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur and Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India. The Kartapur Corridor is aimed at reducing the hassles for Indian-Sikh pilgrims, who otherwise had to travel via Wagah Border, Lahore to Kartapur and Nankana Sahib.