As Kartarpur inauguration nears, PM Imran announces special waivers for Sikh guests

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday announced that Sikh pilgrims who arrive from India to visit Kartarpur will no longer need a passport to cross over into Pakistan as long as they have a valid identity.

In a tweet on Friday morning, the premier also announced that he had directed that the condition for pilgrims to register 10 days before their arrival to the Kartarpur shrine also be waived.

The prime minister further announced that the pilgrims who arrive on the day of the Kartarpur corridor’s opening and on Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary will not be charged any fee to visit.

After tough negotiations between Islamabad and New Delhi, Pakistan and India had finally signed an agreement last month paving the way for the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor this month ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev.

The four-kilometre-long corridor, which will be inaugurated on November 9, will provide pilgrims a visa-free link between Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur and the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Indian Punjab. Up to 5,000 Indian Sikhs have been allowed access daily, with plans to eventually double the capacity.