National News

Passports Needed For Kartarpur, Will Go By MoU: India

New Delhi: Amid conflicting messages emanating from Pakistan forward of the Kartarpur inauguration, India on Thursday mentioned that pilgrims going from India must carry their passports to make use of the cross-border hall to achieve the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara.

Ministry of Exterior Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, addressing a briefing right here, mentioned that regardless of the hall slated to be inaugurated on Saturday “a sense of confusion continues”, within the wake of the newest tweet by Pakistan navy’s media wing.

Kumar mentioned the Indian authorities would go by the bilateral MoU inked between the 2 sides on the Kartarpur hall.

“As of today, there is a bilateral document which has been signed between the two sides, which very clearly specifies the documents needed to undertake the visit,” he mentioned.

On Thursday, Pakistan Director Normal of Inter Companies Public Relations (ISPR) Main Normal Asif Ghafoor tweeted, saying that Indian Sikh pilgrims would require a passport to go to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara.

On November 1, Prime Minister Imran Khan had tweeted that no passport can be wanted for identification and prior registration for the guests, resulting in quite a few questions from Indian pilgrims.

The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province is positioned 4.5 km from the Indian border. The shrine will likely be accessible to Indian pilgrims all year long through the hall.

The MEA spokesperson mentioned any modification to the MoU “cannot be done unilaterally, it requires consent of both parties”.

“So, for the time being, we are going by the requirements as stipulated in the MoU,” he mentioned.

He mentioned that these enterprise the journey on November 9 and later “will have to go by what is contained in the MoU, till it is revised or amended to include other provisions requested or proposed by the Pakistani side”.

Requested if Pakistan has confirmed the checklist of the 550 delegates to make use of the hall on November 9, he mentioned that up to now Pakistan has not bought again on the checklist.

“Pakistan is supposed to confirm the final list of pilgrims at least four days in advance of the visit. The journey is to take place the day after tomorrow, and so we presume that all the names we have shared with Pakistan, they stand confirmed and we have accordingly informed those who are part of the jatha,” he mentioned.

He additionally mentioned that since there are former prime ministers and chief ministers within the jatha “adequate arrangements should be made in terms of security for the dignitaries” by Pakistan.

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