In another U-turn, India's nuclear-armed neighbour Pakistan has conveyed that 550 pilgrims travelling through the Kartarpur corridor on the inauguration day on Saturday (November 9) will also have to pay the $20 fee. Despite Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced a fee waiver on November 1, Pakistan has conveyed the decision to India.
On November 1, Imran Khan had said that Sikhs coming to Kartarpur from India need not carry passports but just need a valid ID card and that no fee will be charged on the day of the inauguration of the corridor to the Kartarpur gurdwara. However, on Thursday, Pakistan said that passports are a must.
On Friday, it conveyed that it will be charging the $20 fee. Among the pilgrims using the corridor will be former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Punjab CM Amarinder Singh as well as union ministers Hardeep Puri and Harsimrat Kaur.
India protests $20 fee
The money earned through Saturday's pilgrimage collection from the 550 pilgrims will amount to a tidy $11,000 for Pakistan. India has been protesting the $20 fee, with many calling it a jaziya tax.
The Kartarpur Corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, just four kilometres from the International Border, located at Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province. This will allow 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib where Guru Nanak spent last 18 years of his life.