Weeks after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor in Pakistan, Republic TV has accessed an exclusive copy of the leaked proposal of the corridor issued by the Pakistan Government in which the Imran Khan government has imposed some bizarre restrictions on the pilgrims who will be coming from India to visit the Gurudwara.
In the proposal, which is yet to be shared with the Indian government, Pakistan government has demanded security clearance of the Sikh pilgrims coming from India before their pilgrimage to Kartarpur, which will start in 2019.
Furthermore, the 59-page proposal, in which two pages specifies the Pak government's restriction for the pilgrimages, also states that only 500 pilgrims will be allowed per day and from 8 am to 5 pm to Karatarpur.
As per sources, the Indian Government has stated that they have not received any such proposal on Kartarpur Corridor from Pakistan.
RP Singh from the BJP reacted saying that as a Sikh, he is disappointed over the restrictions in the proposal document.
"As a Sikh I feel let down, But we have to still wait for a formal proposal to the government of India. They will take a stand. As a Sikh I feel let down as this is an issue of faith worldwide. We were hopeful that a way will come out. As a Sikh I feel let down.They (Pakistan) were thinking it (Kartarpur Corridor) is a breakthrough for the relationship between the two countries then they should act like that. Every year Sikhs go to Pakistan for other pilgrimages," he said.
Akali Dal's Maninder Singh Sirsa said he would wait until the official document is made public.
"We should wait and watch. Let us have the official communication. The High Commission of both countries have not communicated this officially over this. We cannot confirm or deny this. If this is an official document, people will have two objections. First, why was this not communicated to the Indian government? Second, the (restrictions) are stricter. We thought it will be a corridor in a controlled environment between the two countries where people will pass across using their visas. What we se this documents is totdally diffeent. I will hold my thoughts until we get the official document," he said.
Earlier in December, it was reported that the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi allegedly ‘lost’ 23 passports of Indian nationals from Sikh community who wanted to go on a pilgrimage to Kartarpur in the neighbouring country. Pakistan had issued 3800 visas to Sikh Pilgrims but lost 23 passports out of them.
Indian agencies are probing the matter, however, they asked Ministry of External Affairs to cancel these passports immediately. Agencies also feared that Pakistan could misuse these passports against India in the future.
The much-awaited corridor, that the opened on November 28, will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur - the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev - with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev.
The Kartarpur corridor is expected to be completed within six months.