Kartarpur Corridor: MEA clarifies but confusion prevails; Passport needed to visit Kartarpur Gurdwara in Pakistan

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Published: November 7, 2019 8:20:51 PM

To a question, if there has been any confirmation from the Pakistan side, Kumar said that “Pakistan has not got back on the list of 550 delegates who are going to use the corridor on November 9.”

Kartarpur Corridor, MEA, Passport, Kartarpur Gurdwara, Pakistan, MoU, Ministry of External Affairs“Since no amendments can be made unilaterally to the MoU, as consent is needed of both sides, India will go with the requirements mentioned in the MoU,” he said.

To use the cross border corridor to reach the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, Indian pilgrims have to carry their passport.

At a briefing in New Delhi, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Raveesh Kumar said, “The corridor which has to be inaugurated on Saturday, confusion prevails due to a tweet by the Pakistan Military’s media wing.”

To a series of media queries related to the confusing tweet, the MEA officer stated that “The Indian government will follow the MoU which has been signed with Pakistan. And it states the documents needed for the travel through the corridor for the pilgrimage.”

“Since no amendments can be made unilaterally to the MoU, as consent is needed of both sides, India will go with the requirements mentioned in the MoU,” he said.

Therefore, those who will be travelling on November 9 and later have to follow the requirements mentioned in the MoU, till it is revised or amended to add new provisions requested or prosed by the Pakistan side.

To a question, if there has been any confirmation from the Pakistan side, Kumar said that “Pakistan has not got back on the list of 550 delegates who are going to use the corridor on November 9.”

“Since Pakistan has not responded to the list of members going, it is presumed it is confirmed and that adequate arrangements are made in terms of security for the dignitaries”, he said.

The travel which is taking place day after tomorrow and the confirmation from Pakistan should have come at least four days ahead of the visit. The jatha delegates including former prime ministers and chief ministers have been informed.

What caused the confusion?

There was a tweet by the Pakistan Director General of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor. According to his tweet, the Indian Sikh pilgrims would require a passport to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara.

So why the confusion?

Today’s tweet is in contradiction of a tweet by Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan earlier this month. He had tweeted that no passport is required for the identification of pilgrims.

Where is Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara?

It is located in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province and is 4.5 km from the Indian border. The whole year, through the corridor, the shrine can be accessed.

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