Pakistan charges fee for Kartarpur darshan, Cong urges Centre to intervene

Published: Oct 22, 2019, 6:49 pm IST

With Pakistan levying ‘darshan’ fee of USD 20 from the pilgrims paying obeisance at Kartarpur Sahib, the Congress on Tuesday urged the Central government to intervene and bear these charges. In a statement here, National Spokesperson of Congress and MP Manish Tewari said that a Sikh pilgrim paying for darshan, goes against the spirit of ‘khule darshan’ (free access).

Terming the 20 dollars to be charged by Pakistan from each pilgrim as jazia, Mr Tewari said, ‘Since the governments of India and Pakistan are to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on October 23, the Union government should incorporate the provision in the MoU that it will bear the cost of the darshan.

‘If Pakistan insists on USD 20 fee for Kartarpur pilgirms and India assigns the agreement on October 23, then the BJP-led NDA government should undertake to pay that Jazia Tax in the MoU itself. Paying to visit Kartapur Sahib goes against the grain of Khule Darshan in the Holy ardas,’ he tweeted.

Mr Tewari quoted the daily ‘ardas’, wherein every Sikh prays for free access to all the Gurdwaras, which were left in Pakistan at the time of partition.

‘Jeeo Sri Nankaanaa Sahib tae hor Gurdwareaan, Gur Dhaamaan dae jinhaan tohn Panth noon vichhoraeaa geaa haee, Khulle darshan dee daara tae sevaa sambhaal daa daan Khalsa Jee noon baksho,’ he added.

The Congress leader said it will be a great step forward towards helping the community for free access to Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara, which is the dream and desire of every Sikh and which he always prays for, in his daily ardas (prayer). (UNI)