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Posted at: Nov 16, 2019, 6:52 AM; last updated: Nov 16, 2019, 6:52 AM (IST)

Revise agreement with Pak, Sukhbir writes to PM Modi

Revise agreement with Pak, Sukhbir writes to PM Modi
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal - File photo

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 15

SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal today urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to request Pakistan to revise the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries and remove the clause that required a passport to access the Kartarpur corridor, besides simplifying the documentation as well as verification process.

The pilgrims should be allowed to give identity proof like Aadhaar card in lieu of passport, he said, adding that the registration process could also be simplified. He said a mobile app could be introduced and special counters be created for this purpose.

Sukhbir said police verification was also taking more than 10 days. He said this could also be simplified by giving authority to the village panchayat/ward councillor to verify the antecedents of the pilgrims on the form itself before it was submitted.

The SAD president said he was confident that once these steps were taken it would facilitate the pilgrimage of lakhs of devotees. He said there was tremendous enthusiasm among people to undertake this journey and thousands of people had visited Dera Baba Nanak in the last few days with the hope of accessing the corridor.

Sukhbir, who has written to the PM on this issue, said lakhs of Sikh pilgrims wanted to visit Kartarpur Sahib, but the cumbersome procedure coupled with the requirement of passports was coming in the way of their pilgrimage to the holy site.

Besides, the $20 fee is also acting as a hindrance. Since devotees are likely to travelas family units, this puts a heavy financial burden of over Rs10,000 ona family in terms of passport expenses and service charge, he said.

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