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No Kartarpur pact as India rejects Pakistan's demand for entry fees at Gurudwara

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New Delhi, Sep 04: India and Pakistan failed to complete the final Kartarpur agreement on Wednesday as the two demands made by Pakistan were rejected.

No Kartarpur pact as India rejects Pakistans demand for entry fees at Gurudwara

The agreement could not be finalised as Pakistan insisted on charging a service fee for allowing pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara and also showed its unwillingness to allow the presence of Indian Consular or protocol officials at the Gurdwara premises. These two conditions were unacceptable to the Indian delegation.

However, Indian and Pakistani officials reached an understanding on the visa-free travel of 5,000 Indian pilgrims every day to Darbar Sahib gurdwara via the Kartarpur Corridor but were unable to finalise a draft agreement.

The third round of meetings between delegates of India and Pakistan to discuss and finalise the draft agreement for the operationalisation of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims was concluded on Wednesday, officials said.

A 20-member Pakistani delegation crossed over to India for the joint secretary-level meeting at Attari in Amritsar, they said.

Kartarpur your Madina, Nankana Sahib your Makkah Imran Khan tells Sikhs

The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district of Punjab and 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.

Talking to reporters before crossing into India at Wagah border to take part in the talks, Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson and Director General of South Asia and SAARC Mohammad Faisal, said Pakistan is positive about the outcome of the third round of talks on the corridor.

"We are hopeful to give a final shape to the draft agreement of Kartarpur corridor in today's talks with India. Some 90 per cent work on the project has been completed and Pakistan is committed to opening the corridor in November," Faisal, who is leading the Pakistan delegation, said.

This is the second such meeting on the Kartarpur corridor after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status leading to fresh tensions between the two neighbours.

In the last joint secretary-level meeting held in July at Wagah in Pakistan, it was agreed that 5,000 pilgrims per day will be allowed to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.

On August 30, the meeting between technical experts of India and Pakistan had taken place.

The corridor will be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since Independence.

Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India.

In a major initiative last November, both India and Pakistan had agreed to set up the Kartarpur corridor.

This is the second such meeting on the Kartarpur corridor after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status leading to fresh tensions between the two neighbours.

In the last joint secretary-level meeting held in July at Wagah in Pakistan, it was agreed that 5,000 pilgrims per day will be allowed to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan.

On August 30, the meeting between technical experts of India and Pakistan had taken place.

The corridor will be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since Independence.

Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India.

In a major initiative last November, both India and Pakistan had agreed to set up the Kartarpur corridor.

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