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Pakistan, India sign Kartarpur Corridor agreement.

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan and India signed the Kartarpur Corridor agreement at zero line, Pakistan-India Narowal border on Thursday.

'The corridor will be open from dawn to dusk. Pilgrims travelling in the morning will have to return on the same day,' Dr Faisal said while addressing the media after the signing of the agreement.

'There will be a $20 per visitor per visit, as service charges. The corridor will be operational throughout the year,' Dr Faisal said, adding that the prime minister will inaugurate the corridor on November 9.

He added, India will send the list of pilgrims to Pakistan 10 days ahead of travel date, while pilgrims will be informed four days before the travel date.

The foreign office spokesperson added the signing of the agreement, despite many challenges indicates the resolve of Prime Minister Imran Khan to fulfill his commitment in line with the Islamic principles for respect of all religions and government's policy to promote interfaith harmony.

'It was difficult and tough negotiations with India given the history tense relations with the country,' Dr Faisal said.

Responding to a question, the spokesperson said Sikh pilgrims from other countries including Canada and European will also be facilitated to visit their sacred places in Pakistan.

He added elaborate security arrangements have also been put in place for the Yatrees.

According to details of the agreement between Islamabad and New Delhi, Indian pilgrims of all faiths and persons of Indian origin can use the corridor.

Travel will be visa free; pilgrims need to carry only a valid passport. Persons of Indian origin need to carry Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card along with the passport of their country.

Furthermore, pilgrims will have a choice to visit as individuals or in groups.

The inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor would coincide with the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of founder of Sikhism Baba Guru Nanak Sahib. 'Pakistan is all set to open its doors to Sikhs from all across the globe,' the PM wrote. 'The world's largest Gurdwara will be visited by Sikhs from across India and other parts of the world,' he said.

The prime minister said the Kartarpur Corridor will be a major religious hub for the Sikh community. '(It) will boost the local economy (and) result in earning foreign exchange for the country creating jobs in different sectors including travel and hospitality.'

Pakistan handed the final draft of the proposed bilateral agreement over to India on October 11 and also accepted New Delhi's demand to allow devotees of other faiths - Hindus, Christians, Zoroastrians etc - to visit Baba Guru Nanak Devji's final resting place.

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Publication:The Balochistan Express (Quetta, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Oct 24, 2019
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