Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur has slammed Pakistan for levying a fee of US $20 from every pilgrim who crosses the border and uses the Kartarpur corridor.
She questioned this irrational move and its economic affordability. She tweeted saying that “Pakistan has made a business out of faith”.
The $20 fee each charged by Pak for #KartarpurSahib darshan is atrocious. How will a poor devotee pay this amount? Pakistan has made a business out of faith. @ImranKhanPTI‘s statement that this fee will boost Pak’s economy & result in earning foreign exchange is highly shameful. pic.twitter.com/a0sidEDIPZ
— Harsimrat Kaur Badal (@HarsimratBadal_) October 20, 2019
Earlier this month, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amrinder Singh too had slammed Pakistan for the blatant disregard for the sentiments of the pilgrims. He has even expressed certain security concerns related to the project.
Author and South Asian expert Priyajit Debsarkar slams this act of financial terrorism and highlights the fact that Pakistan has been unsuccessful in its attempts to revive its economy and find any form of financial assistance from either the US or the Gulf nations even as Chinese projects have been stalled.
Columnist Amal Sinha echoes the sentiments of the Union Minister and is of the opinion that this will only benefit the Pakistan Army and not the nation. He has slammed this day light extortion and exploitation of religious sentiments. He is not surprised though at this act.
India and Pakistan have negotiated successful to let pilgrims visit the Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan. The Kartarpur corridor will connect Darbar Sahib to the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab. The distance between the two religious establishments is about 3.5 Kilo Metres.
Darbar Sahib Gurudwara is said to be the last resting place of the founder of Sikhism Guru Nanak Dev.
The Land Port Authority of India, an organization under the Union Home Ministry is responsible for the overall project.
Now it has been decided that amidst security concerns, the pilgrims who need a passport to visit and be back on the same day, shall be subjected to strict checking after returning back to India. The Border Security Force is erecting high powered surveillance equipments and is keeping a check on the flow of arms, drugs and other restricted items.
Intelligence agencies have warned of Pakistani attempts to revive the Khalistani insurgency in the state of Punjab.
The corridor is expected to be open to general public who have registered to visit the holy site from November 8th. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Gurdaspur on November 7th.