Hailing the opening of the Kartarpur corridor on Saturday as "historic", former India player turned politician Gautam Gambhir slammed Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for resorting to dirty 20 dollar politics.
"I welcome the opening of the corridor. It's historic and will be good for the Sikh community. Its a great step taken by the government and I fully support it. I think Pakistan should not indulge in petty politics or 20 dollar dirty talks and keep religion out of politics. Imran Khan and his govt stand exposed on their dual and deceptive policies," Gambhir told Republic TV in an exclusive interview on Friday.
In a U-turn, Pakistan has conveyed to India that it will charge the USD 20 facilitation fee from each pilgrim using the Kartarpur Corridor to visit the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib on Saturday. Pakistan Prime Minister last week announced that no fee would be charged from the pilgrims on the opening day of the corridor on November 9 and on Sikhism founder Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary on November 12. The Pakistan Foreign Office had confirmed on Thursday the waiving of the fee for the inaugural day and November 12, citing Prime Minister Khan's remarks.
The corridor, connecting the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Punjab with Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in the Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province, will be thrown open to the pilgrims on Saturday with India and Pakistan set to hold separate ceremonies to mark the occasion. Pakistan has conveyed to India that people traveling through the Kartarpur corridor on Saturday will also have to pay the USD 20 fee. However, it was not immediately clear whether the fee will also be charged from those traveling in the official 550-member official jatha or delegation, they said. Each visitor would be required to pay USD 20 as a fee, though India has requested Pakistan not to charge the Indian pilgrims.