Talk to Pakistan to remove passport clause to encourage pilgrims, SAD(D) urges Center
New Delhi: In order to bow to more and more devotees at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) SAD (D) has urged the central government to talk to Pakistan to do away with this condition. Keeping a passport as an identity document by the pilgrims and replacing it with the Indian national identity ‘Aadhaar Card’. Appreciating the Centre’s decision to reopen the Kartarpur Corridor, SAD (D) president Paramjit Singh Sarna told Zee News on Monday that the purpose of the pilgrimage to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib will be fulfilled only if the government does away with the condition of holding a passport. Will do it Sarna said the idea is why ask for a passport and not an Aadhar card if there is a government-certified identity. ( passport section)
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Pilgrims coming from India do not need passport
It is pertinent to mention that it was Pakistan which first made passport a mandatory document for Indian pilgrims. Later Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan unilaterally decided that the pilgrims coming from India would not require a passport. However, no official communication was sent by Pakistan’s Foreign Office to the Indian authorities. Sarna has initiated various Karseva (Voluntary Service) projects of Gurdwara and Sarai in Pakistan. Sarna said that the SAD (D) will write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up the matter with Pakistan in this regard. So that more and more devotees can visit Shri Darbar Sahib located in Kartarpur.
Inauguration of Kartarpur Corridor on 9th November, 2019 (passport section)
Notably, the Kartarpur Corridor connects Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of Indian Punjab with Kartarpur Sahib in Narowal district of Pakistan Punjab. The Kartarpur Corridor was inaugurated on November 9, 2019, but was closed on March 16, 2020 due to COVID-19. The Kartarpur Corridor was recently opened on November 17, 2021, allowing pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan and return the same day. Sarna had recently visited a gurdwara in Pakistan. And saw a large number of devotees reach the ‘Darshan Sthal’ on the International Border at Dera Baba Nanak to get a glimpse of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan with the help of binoculars. Sarna said that we have also proposed live streaming of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib on life-size screens installed at the shrine so that the followers of Baba Nanak can have uninterrupted view of the religious services performed at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib. Many pilgrims register themselves online at https://prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in for the Kartarpur Sahib pilgrimage, but are disappointed with getting a passport as an identity document required for cross-border travel. (passport section)