Prime Minister announces special discounts for incoming Sikh pilgrims
In his message to the social networking site Twitter, the Prime Minister announced the termination of passport for Kartarpur Ziarat and said that only valid identification documents would be sufficient for this.
Along with this, he also said that now Sikh pilgrims do not need to register 10 days before coming to Pakistan.
The Prime Minister further announced in his tweet that no charges will be received from the visitors on the opening day of Kartarpur transit and 550th birth anniversary of Groninak.
It is to be noted that after long and difficult negotiations between Islamabad and Delhi, on October 24, the Kartarpur transit agreement was signed and the Prime Minister will formally inaugurate it on the 9th of this month.
Under the agreement between Pakistan and India, 5,000 Sikh pilgrims will be able to perform their religious rituals at Kartarpur Sahib without visa daily.
Under the 18-point agreement, 5,000 Sikh pilgrims, individually or in the form of pilgrims, will be able to come to Kartarpur from Narowal all year round from morning to evening.
In addition, the government will issue identification cards to facilitate the passengers of Pakistan and each passenger will receive a $ 20 service fee, however, the facility will not be available on public holidays and in case of emergency.
The agreement also agreed that in the event of closure of the transit, the two countries would inform each other through a notification.
Why is Kartarpur so important for Sikhs?
Kartarpur is located on the western side of the River Ravi in the Shakargarh area in Narowal district of Pakistani Punjab, where the first Gurunak Dev Ji spent 18 years of his life.
The Darbar Sahib Gurdwara, located in Kartarpur, is 3 to 4 km from the Indian border.
Sikh pilgrims visit Dera Babank by telescope from India and thousands of Sikh pilgrims come to Pakistan from India every year to celebrate Baba Gronank's birthday.
The other holy places of Sikhs located in Pakistan are in a village near Kartarpur Dera Baba Nanak border opposite Dera Sahib Lahore, Panja Sahib Hassan Abdal, and Janma Asthana Nankana Sahib.
The issue of opening the Kartarpur border between India and Pakistan was settled in 1988 but after that the tensions between the two countries could not progress.
Due to the closure of the border, Sikhs worship near the Indian border every year on the birth anniversary of Baba Groninak and many visitors also visit the Gurdwara through telescopes.
The decision to open Kartarpur transit
Former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sudhu, who arrived in Pakistan last August, attended the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan at the invitation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
He met the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the ceremony and had informal talks with him.
In this regard, Sadhu had said that when he met Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, he said that Pakistan was thinking of opening Kartarpur road on Guru Nanak's 550th birthday.
He further said that the head of the Pakistan Army gave him everything in one sentence as if he had got everything in the universe.
Later, to facilitate India's Sikh pilgrims, Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur transit on November 28 last year, in which Navjot Sudhu came to Pakistan exclusively to attend.
After that, there were several rounds of negotiations between the two countries to arrange arrangements for the visitors coming through Kartarpur transit and an agreement was reached on October 20.
Later, the government announced the inauguration of a passenger on November 9 for Sikhs wishing to officially attend the 55th birthday celebrations of Groninak.