Pakistan thinks business as pilgrims wait for Kartarpur corridor to open
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Pakistan thinks business as pilgrims wait for Kartarpur corridor to open

By Indiatoday calender  21-Nov-2019

Pakistan thinks business as pilgrims wait for Kartarpur corridor to open

opening of Kartarpur corridor holds religious significance to crores of Sikh pilgrims. They have waited for over 70 years for this dream to come true, but for Pakistan, it means business.
Buried under a huge international debt, Pakistan is in a hurry to revive its ailing economy. That's why Pakistan is eyeing international revenues from yet to be opened Kartarpur corridor.
India, on all occasions, requested Islamabad to not charge any entry fee from pilgrims but it seems it fell on deaf ears.
The Kartarpur corridor agreement could not be finalised as Pakistan insisted on charging a service fee for allowing pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.
Pakistan remains adamant on charging entry fees from the Sikh pilgrims. Indian officials -- who have already raised this issue during the July 14 delegation meeting -- raised this issue again during the Atari Border meeting on Wednesday.
After turning down the request made by New Delhi, Islamabad said that it will be charging $20 from each Indian pilgrim which means every Sikh devotee visiting Pakistan will have to pay Rs 1,400 roughly to the Pakistan government.
By levying the entry fees, Pakistan will be earning a revenue of more than Rs 72 lakh every month as it has agreed to allow 5,000 pilgrims to crossover to Narowal district in Pakistan's Punjab each day.
यह भी पढ़ें: अजहर, सईद, दाऊद, लखवी नए आतंकवाद निरोधक कानून के तहत आतंकवादी घोषित
Pakistan will get Rs 21.6 crore to fill its empty coffers each month. This has also exposed the double standard of Pakistan which at one hand says it is facilitating the Sikh pilgrims while on the other hand is hell bent on exploiting them.
Not only this, Indian authorities have also requested Pakistan to to allow more than 10,000 pilgrims on special occasions.
Pakistan did not say no but has said it will have to upgrade its infrastructure to accommodate more pilgrims. This also means more business to the fund-starved country.
Indian authorities, in the Kartarpur corridor agreement draft, also cited Nepal's example which has exempted Indian pilgrims form entry fees but the Pakistan remains unchanged.
While there is no word from both the sides about the next possible delegation meeting to discuss the issues of entry fee and entry of Indian protocol officials inside the Gurudwara Sahib, it seems that Pakistan wants to exploit the poor devotees who have waited for over 70 years to get the corridor constructed.

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