Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (File photo)
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (File photo)

Pakistan will eventually waive off $20 fee on pilgrims visiting Kartarpur Sahib: Captain Amarinder

ANI | Updated: Oct 24, 2019 19:05 IST

Gurdaspur (Punjab) [India], Oct 24 (ANI): Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday expressed the hope that Pakistan will eventually waive off the twenty-dollar fee imposed on the pilgrims from India visiting Sri Kartarpur Sahib.
"Pakistan will eventually understand the Sikh sentiment and tradition, which bars the community from paying to visit gurdwaras and temples, and will, in due course, waive off the $20 fee imposed on Indian pilgrims visiting Sri Kartarpur Sahib," said Singh.
The Punjab Chief Minister said that even Emperor Akbar had lifted the Jizya tax on non-Muslims, showing respect for the secular sentiment, urging Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to reconsider the decision.
Talking to media persons here, he welcomed the signing of the agreement for the opening of Kartarpur corridor between India and Pakistan, which permits 5,000 pilgrims to visit the historic gurdwara every day, from the sunrise to the sunset either in groups or individually.
Only passport would be required as an identification document, with no visa needed for the visit, he pointed out, adding that Non-Resident Indian (NRI) or Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders would also be allowed to visit the gurdwara via the corridor, which pilgrims can also travel on foot.
Captain Amarinder reiterated that he would personally lead an all-party delegation, along with former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his wife, as the first Jatha travelling through the corridor.
All members of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), cutting across party lines, as well as Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) members, have been invited by the government to join the Jatha, said the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister said all arrangements on the part of his government are complete for the 550th Prakash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev and the state government will be announcing details of the final schedule of programmes and events in the next three-four days.
Captain Amarinder along with his Cabinet colleagues earlier reviewed the progress of the various projects undertaken by the state government in connection with the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of the first Sikh Guru.
He also laid the foundation stone of the 109 km long circular 'Prakash Purab Marg' from Sultanpur Lodhi to Dera Baba Nanak, to be constructed by the state government at a cost of Rs 103 crore, besides announcing a new Rs 13 crore state-of-the-art bus stand for Batala.
The ten-meter wide road will pass through Mundi Mor-Kapurthala-Sultanpur Lodhi-Beas-Baba Bakala and Batala.
"In reverence of 550th Parkash Purab of Sri Guru Nanak Dev, the historic city of Batala will also get a complete facelift," Singh added.
He announced a slew of development projects for Batala including development and beautification Kasur Nallah. The Chief Minister said that this project will be taken up at par with Buddah Nallah of Ludhiana and Nallahs in Patiala. He also announced that the other demands raised by the Minister would be duly considered.
During his visit to Batala, the Chief Minister went to the nearly two-century-old Maharaja Sher Singh residence in the premises of Baring Union Christian College. (ANI)