India urges Pakistan to drop fee for pilgrims using Kartarpur corridor

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India on Thursday urged Pakistan to not levy the proposed USD 20 fee on pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in the interest of devotees and hoped that the agreement will be signed in time ahead of the corridor opening to mark the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to a query that an agreement on all other issues, except the matter of service fee, has been reached with Pakistan after several rounds of discussion.

He said Kartarpur Sahib Corridor was an important people-to-people initiative taken by India to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji.

“Pakistan insists on levying a fee of USD 20 (approx. Rs. 1420) on all pilgrims. We have urged Pakistan not to do so in the interests of devotees and also because this is a P2P initiative. We hope that the agreement can be concluded and signed in time for the great event,” he added.

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India has repeatedly asked Pakistan to “reconsider” its decision to charge USD 20 as fee from pilgrims visiting the gurdwara. However, Pakistan has remained adamant on the issue.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the corridor, connecting the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur with Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan on November 8.

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