The final agreement for the opening of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor will be signed by India and Pakistan on 24th October.
The signing will take place at the ‘zero point’ located on the border close to Dera Baba Nanak. It was scheduled for 23rd October but had to be postponed by 1 day.
The agreement will allow Indian pilgrims to travel visa-free through the four kilometres long cross-border corridor to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. The religious site is considered to be the final resting place of Guru Nanak.
It is expected that the first pilgrimage to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib will be undertaken on November 9.
Although the two nations are in agreement over all the issues associated with the Kartarpur corridor, there seems to be a major point of disagreement.
Pakistan intends to ask the pilgrims to pay a $20 service charge whereas India has been urging not to charge the fee.
The fee was heavily opposed by Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Both the politicians are of the view that the charge will make it harder for pilgrims to visit the historic Gurdwara.
The delay in signing of the agreement led to a delay in the online registration of the pilgrims.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi, the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, informed that on November 9 (3 days before the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak) Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will inaugurate the project.
According to the Indian Home Ministry sources (as reported by IANS), India’s end of the corridor will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
However, there will be no joint ceremony to mark the event.