India seeks visa-free entry for 5000 Sikh pilgrims as Kartarpur talks resume

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ISLAMABAD: India has given its list of proposals to Pakistan for the proposed Kartarpur Corridor ahead of the third round of high-level talks between the two countries on Wednesday.

As part of its proposal, India has sought permission for the visit of 10,000 Indian pilgrims to Kartarpur on special occasions.

According to diplomatic sources, Pakistan has accepted an Indian proposal for the arrival of up to 5,000 Sikh pilgrims and their visa-free entry in a day. It has also accepted another demand of arrival of the pilgrims in groups or individually walking to Kartarpur.

The Indian side has also sought permission from Pakistani authorities for Sikh pilgrims to prepare and distribute free food during their stay in Kartarpur, sources said.

Officials from both sides will meet at 10am on the Indian side of the Wagah-Attari border where they are expected to finalise a draft agreement regarding opening of the corridor that will allow visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims from India to Gurdwara Kartarpur Darbar Sahib.

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal will lead the Pakistani delegation.

It is pertinent to mention here that the fourth phase of technical talks over Kartarpur Corridor project between Pakistan and India had concluded at Dera Baba Guru Nanak Zero Point on Aug 30. Reportedly, the two sides agreed over most technical aspects of the project.

Pakistan has almost completed work of the corridor project on its side, sources said, adding, however, the work on the Indian side of the corridor yet to reach 50 percent of its completion.

The corridor would be opened on the eve of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak on November 11 in a ceremony, officials had earlier said.

PM Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone of Kartarpur Corridor to link Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan with India’s Gurdaspur district on Nov 28 last year.