Islamabad on Thursday clarified that Pakistan has waived the passport requirement for Sikh pilgrims entering the country on the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.

Kartarpur coridor

During the weekly press briefing, FO Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said the government has waived off three requirements for Sikh pilgrims coming to Kartarpur on Baba Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.

The pilgrims will no longer have to carry their passports or convey their information to the government and register 10 days in advance.

The FO further said that the $20 service charge per pilgrim per visit on November 9 and 12 will also be waived, adding that this information has been formally conveyed to the Indian government.

However, DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor on Wednesday had said pilgrims would require a ‘permit-based entry’ to the Kartarpur Corridor and no compromise would be made on the security of the region.

Earlier this month, the premier had said members of the Sikh community coming to Kartapur from India will not need a passport. “They will be able to travel with a valid identity card.”

The FO spokesperson further said that the Kartarpur Corridor was solely Pakistan’s initiative.

“Not to rub it in, but this was solely Pakistan’s initiative. This was Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative which India then agreed to,” he said.

Referring to a terrorism report issued by the US State Department, the spokesperson reiterated that Islamabad is ‘disappointed’ that the sacrifices and contributions made over the last two decades were overlooked.

“It completely overlooks factual information and contribution made by Pakistan over the last two decades. We hope Pakistan’s contributions and sacrifices will be fully recognized,” he said.