Pilgrims appreciate waiving off requirement for passport by Pakistan for visit to Kartarpur Gurdwara
India presume that the list of the inaugural jatha visiting Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib on November 9 stands confirmed by Pakistan, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Monday, adding that it has accordingly advised the pilgrims to prepare for the journey.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar noted that Pakistan was supposed to confirm the final list of inaugural jatha four days prior to the visit.
"We are very close now, so we presume that all the names which we have shared with the Pakistani side, stand confirmed," Kumar said in a press briefing here.
"We have accordingly advised all the people who are part of the inaugural jatha to prepare for the journey," he added.
Speaking on the conflicting reports coming from Pakistan regarding the documents required to undertake the visit, Kumar said that pilgrims must go by the requirements contained in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the two countries until it is revised.
"As of now, we are aware there is a bilateral document which has been signed between India and Pakistan which very clearly specifies the documents which are required to undertake the visit. Any amendment to the existing MoU cannot be done unilaterally," Kumar said,
So, for the time being, we are going by the MoUs as stipulated in the existing MoUs. those undertaking the journey on the 9th or later have to go by what is contained in the MoUs which has been signed till the time the MoUs get revised or amended to include other amendments which have been proposed by the Pakistani side," he added.
India has given the list of dignitaries who will be crossing over to Kartarpur to visit Gurudwara. The 'Jatha' includes former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, former chief minister Sukhbir Badal, Union Ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and more than 150 Members of Parliament and prominent Indians.
No confirmation of the approved list has come from Pakistan yet. Islamabad has also not allowed Indian advance security and protocol team to visit the site as this is a normal practice and well-known procedure before VVIP visits.
Pakistan has also not shared minute details of the program and is not following the Kartarpur agreement spirit.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, without mutually consulting India, recently tweeted that pilgrims don't require a passport. This has created confusion and clarification has been sought which has not come till date.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)