December 30, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: The government of Pakistan has reportedly sent a 14 point draft agreement or memorandum of understanding (MoU) to the government of India regarding Dera Baba Nanak to Kartarpur Sahib corridor meant to allow Sikh devotees to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.
Notably, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib is located in West Punjab (in Pakistan) and is few kilo-meters away from Dera Baba Nanak in East Punjab (in India). The corridor was a long pending demand of the Sikh nation that was got separated from its historical and sacred places after the partition of Punjab in 1947.
Full text of the document as published by an Indian vernacular reads as follows:
WHEREAS the Government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Government of the Republic of India (herein after referred to Individually as a ‘Party’ and collectively as the parties”) are desirous to provide easy access to the Sikh pilgrims, who are citizens and permanent residents of India (thereinafter referred to as the Pilgrims), to the Gurudwara, Darbar Sahib, Narowal, Pakistan (hereinafter referred to as Kartarpur Sahib), through a permit-based entry to the Pilgrims through the Kartarpur Corridor
AND NOW THE PARTIES AGREE AS FOLLOWS:
1. The objective of this agreement is to facilitate a visa-free travel of the pilgrims from India to Kartarpur Sahib.
2. In order to implement this agreement, the parties shall establish infrastructure in their respective territories, including facilitation centres and counters for running security checks and issuance of permits for the facilitation of pilgrims.
3. A database of the pilgrims shall be created by the parties having names, travel history and other relevant information of the pilgrims.
4. The Government of Pakistan may issue a permit to pilgrims desirous of paying visit to Kartarpur Sahib, subject to the following conditions:
a. The pilgrims must constitute a group of at least 15 people;
b. The pilgrims must carry Indian passports and individual security clearance certificates issued by the Government of India, in English, for the purpose of visiting Kartarpur Sahib.
c. The Government of India shall share with the Government of Pakistan details of the pilgrims and their respective security clearance certificates 3 days prior to their entry through the Kartarpur Corridor.
d. The permit shall only be issued for the purpose of visit to Kartarpur Sahib, subject to such further limitations as may be prescribed by the Government of Pakistan.
5. The number of permits granted may not be more than five-hundred (500) per day.
6. The Kartarpur Corridor shall remain open from 8 am to 5 pm daily.
7. The Government of Pakistan reserves the right to refuse entry into, reduce the period of stay or terminate the stay in its territory, of any pilgrim despite the grant of permit to such pilgrim, if It considers that the pilgrim is found undesirable for security or other purposes.
8. The agreement shall be implemented in accordance with the National laws of the parties.
9. This agreement shall not exempt the pilgrims from the obligation to respect the laws and regulations of Pakistan when entering into its territory, including but not limited to the laws and regulations concerning their entry, stay and exit.
10. This agreement does not affect the existing commitments under the agreements between the parties concerning border security.
11. All disputes arising from or in connection with the application or the interpretation of this agreement shall be amicably settled between the parties through the diplomatic channels.
12. This agreement may be amended, supplemented or modified by written mutual agreements of the parties.
13.This Agreement shall enter into force on the date of signatures by the parties and shall remain valid for a period of — years, unless terminated earlier. The parties may extend the duration of this agreement for any period by mutual consent In writing.
14. Either party may terminate this agreement at any time by giving a notice of one month to the other party of its intention to terminate this agreement.
In Witness Whereof, the duly authorized representatives of the parties have signed this agreement at Islamabad on this day of _______________ in the English language.
On behalf of the Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan
On behalf of the Government of Republic of India.
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Related Topics: Dera Baba Nanak to Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, Gurdwaras in Pakistan, Indian Politics, Indian State, Indo-Pak Relations, Kartarpur, Kartarpur Sahib, Punjab Politics, Sikh News Pakistan, Sikhs in Pakistan