New Delhi: Pakistan has laid down certain conditions regarding the corridor to the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara, said reports on Friday.
A day after discussions between India and Pakistan over the Kartarpur Sikh Corridor, a leading daily quoted sources at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as saying that the actual offer made by Pakistan has turned out to be “farcical”. They said, “There is a sea of difference between what Pakistan, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, had announced and what they offered at Attari.”
While India has already rejected five points raised by Pakistan, the latter reportedly raised two more.
For instance, initially Pakistan had assured a visa-free passage to the gurdwara but later it said it would issue special permits to the pilgrims for a fee. A report said Pakistan has restricted the corridor facility to Indian passport holders and kept out many holders of Overseas Citizenship of India card.
In another setback, while India had begun work on providing facilities at the border, Pakistan has reduced the duration of the agreement to two years. It has also rejected India’s demand for allowing daily visits of pilgrims and put a cap on the number of daily visitors to 500, and that too in groups of 15.
On Thursday, officials from India and Pakistan had met to discuss the Kartarpur corridor. A joint statement after the meeting said, “Both sides held detailed and constructive discussion on various aspects and provisions of the proposed agreement and agreed to work towards expeditiously operationalizing the Kartapur Sahib Corridor.”
ANI quoted government sources as saying that India protested against the impropriety of depriving the Gurudwara (built on land donated by Maharaja Ranjeet Singh ji and other Sikh devotees) of its legal possessions. This followed the revelation that Pakistan has allowed rampant encroachment on lands belonging to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib.
Therefore, India made a strong demand for restoration of the land back to the Gurudwara.
On its part, India has approved a state-of-the-art passenger terminal building to handle 5,000 pilgrims daily, 15,000 on special occasions.