Recently, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India and Pakistan after several rounds of discussion reached an agreement on all other issues, except the matter of service fee.
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has slammed Pakistan for charging $20 from pilgrims visiting holy Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara. She said that the fee imposed by Pakistan for the religious Sikh site is ‘atrocious’. “The $20 fee each charged by Pakistan for Kartarpur Sahib darshan is atrocious. How will a poor devotee pay this amount? Pakistan has made a business out of faith. Imran Khan’s statement that this fee will boost Pak’s economy and result in earning foreign exchange is highly shameful,” Badal said.
India has been insisting Pakistan not to charge any fee from Kartarpur pilgrims. However, Islamabad is yet to change its decision. Recently, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India and Pakistan after several rounds of discussion reached an agreement on all other issues, except the matter of service fee. “Pakistan insists on levying a fee of $20 on all pilgrims,” he said. Kumar further said that New Delhi has also urged Pakistan not to charge a fee in the interests of devotees.
Earlier this month, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh urged Pakistan Prime Minister Iman Khan to withdraw fee imposed on pilgrims visiting Kartarpur Sahib. Imran Khan on Sunday announced that Pakistan will open Kartarpur corridor in November. “Pakistan is all set to open its doors for Sikhs from all across the globe, as the construction work on Kartarpur project enters final stages and will be open to the public in November,” he said.
However, it has also been reported that the online registration of devotees visiting Kartarpur could not be started as both the countries have not yet agreed upon on a number of issues, including $20 fee on pilgrims. While India has repeatedly raised this issue during several rounds of meetings, Pakistan has not yet assured New Delhi that it will reconsider the requests.