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MHA mulls adding anti-India clause in Kartarpur form


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CHANDIGARH: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is contemplating inserting a new column in the application form for the pilgrims to declare that their visit to the Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Kartarpur, Pakistan, through the newly built 5.5-km corridor will not be detrimental to India’s sovereignty.  

Sources said the column would be inserted in the application form, available online, which the pilgrims have to fill before applying for permission to visit the gurdwara. This likely to be done as intelligence agencies fear that Khalistani elements in Pakistan may try to misuse the corridor by propagating anti-India narrative among visiting pilgrims. 

Pro-Khalistan advocacy group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) which is running “Referendum 2020” a secessionist campaign, has asked Sikh pilgrims to contact the organization to receive reimbursement of $20 service fee they had paid for using Kartarpur Sahib Corridor since its opening on November 9. 

In a statement, SFJ has stated that the Sikh pilgrims can submit a copy of fee receipt, address and national ID via email or Whatsapp to receive $20 via Western Union as reimbursement of the service fee. 

Referring to the low turnout of pilgrims for Kartarpur Sahib Corridor and over 12,000 downloads of “2020 Sikh Referendum Mobile App” within days of its Nov 8 launching, SFJ’s legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun stated that “it has become evident that the community agrees with SFJ’s view that Kartarpur Sahib Corridor is not the solution for the Sikhs living in India, and Khalistan is the only solution.’’

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh had already urged the prime ministers of both India and Pakistan to waive off the passport condition for travel through the corridor and instead accept other forms of identity, including Aadhaar, driving license, etc. These should be acceptable since there was no requirement of a visa to be stamped on the passport. 

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)