Chandigarh, Nov 19 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday asked Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to waive the requirement of passport identification to access the Kartarpur Corridor, besides asking him to do away with the $20 service fee being levied on the pilgrims.
In a statement released here, the SAD President said that though Imran Khan had announced that Indian pilgrims won't need passport to gain access to the Kartarpur Corridor and that any valid identify proof would suffice, the Pakistan army had clarified later that entry would be given on the basis of passport-based identification only.
Sukhbir Badal asked Imran Khan to instruct Pakistan government officials to accept any valid identity proof from the devotees other than passports.
"A majority of the people in the rural areas do not have passports. Moreover, getting a passport issued just for this visit amounts to an additional expenditure of around Rs 2,000.
Most of the devotees plan to travel in family groups and this means an average family would have to spend at least Rs 8,000 on passports besides additional expenditure to reach Dera Baba Nanak," he said.
"If the $20 service charge is also taken into account, an average family of four would have to spend around Rs 15,000 to visit Kartarpur Sahib. This is beyond the reach of under privileged sections of society," the SAD chief said.