India and Pakistan on Thursday signed the much-awaited agreement for operationalizing Kartarpur Corridor, paving the way for its inauguration next month ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
The two sides met on “zero line” on the border and signed the agreement. The Indian delegation was led by SCL Das, Joint Secretary (Internal Security) in the Home Ministry and the Pakistani delegation by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Mohammed Faisal.
Officials of the two countries met for a few minutes where Das and Faisal shook hands and signed the agreement.
The corridor will facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.
The corridor will also be the first visa-free connectivity between the two neighbours. However, Indian pilgrims will be required to pay USD 20 for visiting the Karatarpur Sahib Gurdwara through the corridor. India has repeatedly urged Pakistan not to impose the charges.
The corridor connects the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur with Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan. Both countries will hold events to mark the opening of their sections of the corridor.
India and Pakistan have held a series of high-level talks for operationalizing the corridor ahead of the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev.
The foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor was laid down on the Indian side on November 26, 2018.
Two days later, the foundation stone was laid on the Pakistani side.