Talk to Pakistan to remove passport clause to encourage pilgrims: SAD(D) urges Centre


New Delhi: With a view to enabling maximum devotees to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, Kartarpur Shahib in Pakistan, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) SAD(D) has urged the Central government to talk to Pakistan to do away with the condition of possessing passport as the identification document by the pilgrims and replace it with Indian’s national identity ‘Aadhar card’.

While hailing the Centre’s decision of reopening of Kartarpur Corridor, the SAD(D) president Paramjit Singh Sarna told Zee News on Monday that the purpose of pilgrimage to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib would be fulfilled only if the government would eliminate the condition of possession of a passport by the pilgrimage aspirant.

“The idea is to have the government authenticated identification then why to ask for passport and why not Aadhar card,” said Sarna, adding that 75% of the people didn’t’ have the passport and were deprived of visiting Guru’s abode across the border.

It is pertinent to mention that it was Pakistan who have earlier made the passport mandatory documents for Indian pilgrims later Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan while taking a unilateral decision announced that pilgrims coming from India would not need the passport. However, there was no official communication sent by the Pakistan foreign office to Indian authorities.

Sarna who has undertaken various Karsewa (voluntary service) projects of Gurdwara’s and Sarai’s in Pakistan said SAD(D) would write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in this regard to take up the matter with Pakistan. So that more and more devotes can pay obeisance at Sri Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

Notably, the Kartarpur Corridor, which connects Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of Indian Punjab with Kartarpur Sahib in the Narowal district of Pakistan Punjab, was inaugurated on November 9, 2019, but was closed due to Covid-19 on March 16, 2020.

The Kartarpur Corridor was recently opened on November 17, 2021, enabling faithful’s to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan and return on the same day. Sarna, who recently visited Gurdwara in Pakistan observed that a large number of devotees arrive up to ‘Darshan Sthal’ situated at the international border at Dera Baba Nanak for having a glimpse of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan with the help of binoculars.

“We have also proposed the live streaming of Gurdwara Darbar Sahib on life-size screens installed at DarshanSthal so that followers of Baba Nanak could have an uninterrupted view of religious services performed in the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib,” said Sarna.

Many pilgrimage aspirants register themselves online for the Kartarpur Sahib pilgrimage on https://prakashpurb550.mha.gov.inbut are disappointed to find a passport as a mandatory identification document required for travelling across the border.

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