Kartarpur | Pakistan Proposes 2 Categories For Sikh Pilgrims: Reports

Pakistan News

Pakistan has taken a decision to introduce two separate visa categories for Indian Sikhs and Sikhs of Indian origin, who wished to visit the Kartarpur corridor

Written By Akhil Oka | Mumbai | Updated On:

A report in Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper hinted on Friday that Pakistan had decided to add a religious tourism category to the online visa system for the Sikh pilgrims who want to visit the Darbara Sahib Gurudwara in Kartarpur. Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior took this decision. Now, two separate categories of visa applications would be entertained by the Ministry. The first one would pertain to Sikh pilgrims holding a residence permit from another country with an Indian passport. On the other hand, the second category would include Sikh pilgrims of Indian origin living anywhere in the world. 

Read: Kartarpur Sahib Corridor To Be Visa-Free For Indian Pilgrims

Visa applications to be processed within 7-10 working days 

All visa applications for both categories of Kartarpur pilgrimages would be processed within 7-10 days. Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs would collaborate with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to come up with a standard operating procedure for visas under the religious tourism category. The former would officially request the Cabinet of Pakistan to bring an amendment in the existing policy in order to incorporate the new changes.

On Wednesday, the talks between India and Pakistan to finalize an agreement on the Kartarpur corridor failed. However, according to the Ministry of External Affairs, the two countries agreed to facilitate the visa-free travel of 5,000 Indian pilgrims throughout the year. 

Read: Pak To Issue Multiple, On-arrival Visas To Sikh Pilgrims: PM Khan

Kartarpur talks stuck 

The Kartarpur corridor is a proposed route linking Darbara Sahib Gurudwara in Pakistan’s Kartarpur to Dera Babar Nanak Shrine in Gurdaspur, India. The former is the resting place of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikh religion. While the foundation stone for the corridor was laid on both sides of the border in late 2018 keeping in mind the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November 2020, the talks between the two countries have been stuck on multiple issues. The latest roadblock has been Pakistan’s insistence on charging a fee of $20 per every pilgrim. 

Read: Meeting On Kartarpur Corridor Opening To Be Held On Friday: Pakistan

Read: Capt Amarinder Demands Imran Khan Act On Pak Sikh Girl's Abduction

(With PTI inputs)

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