Punjab CM hails Pak decision

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here on Sunday appreciated Pakistan’s decision to scrap the separate permit system required for pilgrims to travel through the Kartarpur Sahib corridor and allow OCI and PIO card holders.

The Chief Minister also requested waiver of passport to facilitate travel of devotees from the rural areas.

In a statement, Singh hoped that the Indian government would press Pakistan to accept other demands, being raised by him over the past several months. These demands include raising of the limit imposed by Islamabad on the number of pilgrims a day to enable ‘khulle darshan’ to mark the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev. This was vital to ensure smooth flow of pilgrims on important days during the celebrations in November, he said.

Pakistan has agreed to allow 5,000 devotees a day against its original proposal of 500.

Singh said the number needed to be raised further, at least on special occasions, in view of the huge demand for permissions expected to come from Sikhs and other devotees from across the world. He also thanked the Indian government for persuading Islamabad to accede to his request for passage of pilgrims on all seven days of the week.