Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has slammed Pakistan for its insistence of charging $20 as service fee from Indian devotees for visiting Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, saying that the neighbouring country has made a “business out of faith”.
“The $20 fee each charged by Pak for Kartarpur Sahib darshan is atrocious. How will a poor devotee pay this amount? Pakistan has made a business out of faith. @ImranKhanPTI’s statement that this fee will boost Pak’s economy & result in earning foreign exchange is highly shameful,” Ms. Badal said in a tweet.
Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had also lashed out at Pakistan for demanding the $20 service charge, saying it was tantamount to “putting a ticket” on visiting the historic gurdwara.
During third round of meeting between both nations last month, India had expressed disappointment over Pakistan’s “persistent inflexibility” on $20 service fee issue and had asked it to reconsider it.
In a major initiative last November, both India and Pakistan had agreed to set up the Kartarpur corridor.
The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the Ravi river.