Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Modi Government Hampering Sikh Devotees To Use Newly Launched Kartarpur Corridor – Pakistan

Pakistan has accused the Indian Government of sabotaging the visit of Sikh devotees to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib via the newly opened Kartarpur Corridor. Media reports state that over seven decades of wait the Kartarpur corridor has not lived up to the expectations that peaked in the run-up to its inauguration earlier this month.

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The number of incoming devotees to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur was lower than expected due to the obstacles raised by the Modi government who is keen to promote his war-mongering approach.

“The process of online registration is very complicated. I had registered eight members of my family online, but when we arrived at the Indian Immigration Centre, we found out that only I was registered,” claims a devotee

While November 9 was a historic moment for many Indian Sikhs, it was not easy to proceed through the roadblocks built by the Indian authorities. For many pilgrims, the tiring verification process and $20 fee emerged as a roadblock in the holy journey.

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But despite the procedural difficulties, more than 2,500 followers of Guru Nanak along with former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh, Amarinder Singh, the chief minister of India’s Punjab state, Indian parliamentarians and former cricket star Navjot Singh made it for the opening ceremony of the corridor. While the star-studded party faced no difficulties, ordinary Sikhs from India had to go through the bureaucracy.

Under the agreement between the two sides, Indian visitors to the shrine only require a passport and travel permits instead of visas. However, they are not be allowed to leave the premises of the shrine or stay overnight in Pakistan.

Tanisha Chauhan, a Sikh devotee, claimed requests to travel through the corridor face a high refusal. “The police intimidate younger Sikhs and discourage them from travelling. Applicants under the age of 35 cannot use the corridor,” she claimed.

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Many Sikhs believe that the process has several obstructions in India. The keeper of the Golden Temple in India said the $20 entry fee was keeping many devotees away from applying for the permit.

Commenting on the matter, Sardar Surat Singh, in-charge of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, said: “Prime Minister Imran Khan offered to waive off the entry requirements for one year, but the Indian leader did not reciprocate.”

Via: Express Tribune

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