Pakistan has denied India's request to allow an advance team from India to see the arrangements and protocol at Kartarpur. According to government sources, Pakistan has only allowed Indian High Commission officials to visit the site.
India had asked Pakistan to ensure the safety of pilgrims and to ensure that no Khalistani groups or anti-India activity is allowed. They also sought to ensure that no embarassment be caused to India. Pakistan incidentally has assured the security of pilgrims.
Several snags still need to be fixed before the Kartarpur Corridor opens on November 9. Prime Minister Imran Khan had tweeted that passports were not required, but the official agreement states its necessity.
India has asked Pakistan to clarify whether passport will be required to visit Kartarpur Sahib, government sources said, adding that if there is a change, the agreement has to be amended.
"Pakistan is yet to respond to India's request to allow visit of advance teams to see arrangements for high dignitaries and convey requirements which they will require," a source said.
The source said Pakistan has been asked to make adequate arrangements for high-level dignitaries.
With Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu still awaiting political clearance to visit Pakistan for the November 9 Kartarpur inauguration, sources said those who are part of the 550 persons going via the corridor from India that day would not need such clearance. However, India said invitees would require political clearance. Sidhu has written to the External Affairs Minister Jaishankar to seek clearance, which he has reportedly not received. According to sources, "whoever is going via the corridor on Nov 9 will not require political clearance." Sidhu would be going via the Wagah border. He has sought permission from the External Affairs Ministry for the second time in a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.
Pakistan is yet to get back on the list of 550 pilgrims from India that includes many top VIPs, including former PM Manmohan Singh and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. According to sources, on the issue of list, Pakistan was to have got back four days back, but as of Wednesday, it has not. India has still not got the programme from Pakistan on the events being held on their side that day.
Security concerns too have not been alleviated. Recently there has also been a spurt in terror camps near Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal district of Pakistan, sources said. Indian intelligence agencies have apprised security forces about the same. In an interview with India Today on Wednesday Punjab CM Singh said that has reservations about the corridor and that he felt "this is an ISI operation".
Kartarpur corridor, which will be opened on November 9, will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Punjab with Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, just 4 kilometres from the international border. The Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur is built on the historic site where Guru Nanak settled and assembled the Sikh commune.
Notwithstanding a chill in bilateral ties over Kashmir, Pakistan and India after tough negotiations signed a landmark agreement in October to operationalise the Kartarpur Corridor to allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy Darbar Sahib in Pakistan.
The two countries decided that 5,000 pilgrims can visit the shrine everyday and that additional pilgrims will be allowed on special occasions, subject to capacity expansion of facilities by the Pakistani side.
India and Pakistan have also decided that the corridor will be operational through the year and seven days a week and that pilgrims, except kids and elderly persons, will have a choice to visit it as individuals or in groups.
Watch India's official video for the Kartarpur Corridor below:
(With inputs from Agencies)