Passport must for Indian pilgrims to Kartarpur, says Pakistan Army
   Date :08-Nov-2019

By Sajjad Hussain :
SLAMABAD INDIAN Sikh pilgrims visiting the Kartarpur Sahib will need a passport to use the Kartarpur Corridor, which will be inaugurated this week, the Pakistan Army has said, according to a media report on Thursday, days after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that Indian devotees would only need a valid ID to visit the revered Gurudwara Darbar Sahib.
The comments by Pakistan Army spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor came a day after India asked Pakistan to clarify whether passport will be required by the Sikh pilgrims to visit the Gurudwara in Kartarpur. The Kartarpur Corridor, which provides a visa-free access to Indian Sikhs to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib, will be inaugurated on Saturday by Prime Minister Imran Khan to mark Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th birth anniversary.
Major General Ghafoor on Wednesday said that Indian Sikh pilgrims would require a passport to use Kartarpur Corridor, ‘Dawn News’ quoted him. “As we have a security link, the entry would be a legal one under a permit on a passport-based identity. There will be no compromise on security or sovereignty,” Ghafoor said.
Will go by MoU: India
TWO days ahead of the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor, India on Thursday said conflicting reports are coming from Pakistan on whether Indian pilgrims will require passport to visit the Darbar Sahib shrine using the new facility. Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said an agreement was signed between the two countries finalising the modalities for visits by Indian pilgrims and India will stick to it. “Conflicting reports are coming from Pakistan. Sometimes they say passport is needed and sometimes they say it is not required.
As of now, there is a bilateral agreement which specified required documents,” he said. Kumar said amendments cannot be made unilaterally. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has tweeted that passport will not be required, but according to the agreement, passport will be needed. Kumar also said that Pakistan is yet to confirm the list of Indian dignitaries who will attend the Kartarpur opening ceremony on the Pakistani side. “We are presuming that all names we have shared with Pakistani side for inaugural jatha have been cleared,” he said.