In welcome news for devotees of all faiths, India and Pakistan have agreed to visa-free access for 5,000 pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib shrine daily across the year, Tribune has reported.
The decision has been taken at the second round of official-level talks at Wagah between Indian and Pakistani delegations. Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders will also be allowed access to the corridor as part of the agreement.
However, while India wants the access to be free of cost, the issue of fees is yet to be decided along with granting access to 10,000 pilgrims during special occasions. “Eighty per cent of the issues have been agreed upon and further information will only be shared after the agreement is finalised,” said a Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson.
India is also pushing for the corridor to be fully functional by November this year to ensure access to 10,000 pilgrims on Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary on 12 November. India has also offered to make interim arrangements to ensure hassle-free conduct of the celebrations while Pakistan works on a crucial bridge on Ravi river. The bridge is essential for all-weather connectivity to the shrine.