Kartarpur Corridor: Congress and SAD discuss demand for service fee by Pakistan

CHANDIGARH: The ruling Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal on Monday he discussed the issue of the service rate sought by Pakistan of pilgrims for using the Kartarpur runner.

While the ruling party said the BJP-led Center should bear the cost, the SAD demanded that the state government pay it on behalf of the pilgrims.

Pakistan has sought $20 from Indian pilgrims to use the corridor to visit Kartarpur following the 550th anniversary celebrations of the birth of the founder of Sikhism Guru nanak Dev.

The leader of the Congress and the minister of Punjab said that in case the service fee is not exempted, the Center should bear the cost to facilitate all those who want to pay tribute in the historic.

He also urged the Centre to take up the issue with Pakistan at the earliest.

Facing the Akalis for trying to pursue politics for a sacred matter, he challenged the SAD chief, Sukhbir Badal, and the minister of the Union. Harsimrat Kaur Badal to prevail over Modi and get the exempt rate.

The Badal clan vociferously claims to be the custodians of Sikh religion, but when it comes to fighting for community problems, they are the first to deny, Randhawa said in a party statement here.

Meanwhile, Akali leader and former state minister asked the Congress-led Punjab government to pay the fee on behalf of Sikh pilgrims to ensure that they were not burdened with this responsibility.

Majithia said it was surprising that instead of taking responsibility for paying the fee, Randhawa tried to justify it by saying that the amount was not large.

It seems that Randhawa finds an extortionist charge of Rs 1,500 per small pilgrim, but for the common man, it is a large sum, he said, adding that he was against all ethics and amounted to jaziya (imposed on non-Muslims) as in any part of the world, pilgrims were accused of paying homage in a place of worship.