Kartarpur pilgrims need to carry passports: MEA


New Delhi, After conflicting reports from Pakistan about the identity document a pilgrim needs to to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan’s Punjab province via the Kartarpur Corridor, the Indian government declared India will go purely by the MoU that calls for pilgrims to have their passports on them.

Pakistan army spokesperson Asif Ghafoor was quoted on Thursday by a Pakistan channel as saying that passport was essential for Indian pilgrims visiting Kartarpur.

“As of today, there is a bilateral document which has been signed between the two sides, which clearly specifies the documents needed to undertake the visit,” said MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

“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,” Dawn news quoted Ghafoor, the Director General of Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) – the media wing of the military.

Kartarpur Corridor provides a visa-free access to Indian Sikhs to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, originally known as Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, a highly revered Sikh shrine where Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years of his life and is his final resting place.

The corridor has been established to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak falling on November 12.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had on November 1, while announcing the completion of Kartarpur Corridor on Twitter, announced waiving conditions of carrying a passport for identification and prior registration for the visitors.

The Pakistan government also exempted the Indian pilgrims from paying a $20 entry fee on the day of inauguration of the corridor and Guru Nanak Dev’s birthday.