India takes up fee waiver issue on Kartarpur pilgrims with Pakistan

India takes up fee waiver issue on Kartarpur pilgrims with Pakistan

Agency News

New Delhi, Nov. 21: India has taken up with Pakistan the issue of the waiver of US $ 20 fee being levied on each pilgrim for each visit to Kartarpur.

At his weekly media briefing here on Thursday, External Affairs Ministry's official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that since the past many days India has taken up the issue of fee being levied by Pakistan unilaterally on each pilgrim visiting Kartarpur. He said that Pakistan has not agreed to do away with the fee so far. ``We are still requesting the Pakistani side that if they remove it the restrictions which the pilgrims are facing will be eased,' he said.

The number of pilgrims using the recently opened Kartarpur Corridor is increasing in last few days, especially over the weekends. The facilitation procedures are part of the bilateral agreement with Pakistan which have been finalised after the discussions of the officials from both the countries. Any change can be undertaken only with the consent of both parties formally and not through a tweet or a statement.

A regular review is taken on the Indian side by the empowered committee chaired at the level of Secretary in the Union Home Ministry. From the External Affairs Ministry's side, passport services have been further eased. There are now three passport offices, five Passport Seva Kendras, six Post Office Passport Seva Kendras in Punjab. Besides new POPSKs are being opened, including at Dera Baba Nanak. six passport camps have been organised in Punjab. ``Today, obtaining a passport is not difficult and we are facilitating it as requirement of passport is one of the conditions," the spokesperson said. (UNI)