New Delhi, October 22: The signing of the Kartarpur Corridor agreement between India and Pakistan is likely to be postponed by a day due to some reason and the ceremony may now take place on Thursday, sources said. It is learnt that the agreement could take place at the zero line. The development comes a day after India declared that it was ready to sign the agreement with Pakistan on Wednesday. However, there was no any official declaration over the issue.
The Ministry of External Affairs on Monday had declared that it would be ready to sign the agreement on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on October 23 (Wednesday) and also expressed its disappointment as Pakistan insists on levying a $20 service fee on every Kartarpur pilgrim. Kartarpur Corridor Talks: Pakistan Postpones Bridge Construction Till Guru Nanak Dev's 550th Birth Anniversary.
As per an MEA statement, India had also urged Pakistan to reconsider the fee. The statement had said that the Indian government had taken the initiative to put in place the state-of-the-art infrastructure and open the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on the auspicious occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of Sikhism, falling on November 12 so that the pilgrims from India and those holding Overseas Citizen of India cards can undertake a visit to the holy Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.
Pakistan has retained the $20 fee for every pilgrim from India visiting the Kartarpur Gurudwara, where Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life. Everyday, 5,000 pilgrims will be allowed to visit the holy site. The 4.2 km-long corridor from the Indian side in Dera Baba Nanak area in Punjab's Gurdaspur district will be completed by October 31, a week before the celebrations to mark the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province is located 4.5 kms from the border near Dera Baba Nanak. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the corridor on November 9 and dispatch the first lot of pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh would be a part of the Sikh delegation led by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. They will pay obeisance at the shrine and would return on the same day.