Kartarpur corridor reopens: Guidelines to travel to Sikh shrine in Pakistan

The Kartarpur Sahib Corridor was reopened on Wednesday to allow pilgrims from India to visit the Sikh shrine in Pakistan. What are the guidelines in place to travel to Kartarpur Sahib? How does one register? Is a Covid-19 test mandatory?

The registration process for the general public visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan via the Kartarpur corridor between India and Pakistan has been restarted by the Union government. The corridor was reopened on Wednesday, one and a half years after it closed in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Which website registers visitors to Kartarpur Sahib?

All persons who wish to travel to Kartarpur must register on the website http://www.prakashpurb550.mha.gov.in. The website is now open and functioning, and all visitors have to fill in personal details in the ‘apply online’ section which is prominently displayed.

What does the registration process entail?

The registration process first asks you if you are an Indian citizen or an Overseas Citizen Of India (OCI) card holder. Once you make the selection, you are offered the dates of visit on which there are slots vacant for visitors. As of Thursday, there are slots vacant on the registration website from November 20 onward. There is no slot available for November 19, which is the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Part A of the form involves filling in passport details, like passport number, date of issue, place of issue, date of expiry, place of birth, country of birth, etc. Once these details are filled correctly, the date of journey is displayed prominently on the next page and a temporary file number is assigned to the application.

Part B of the application asks for information on the country of residence. Revealing Aadhaar Number and PAN Card details are optional. The present address is asked for, and if it is the same as that in the passport, then the details are auto-filled. The nearest police station has to be mentioned in this section along with your blood group. Landline numbers for home and office are optional, but the mobile number of the primary applicant has to be provided. The applicant also has to give out marital status in this section and the nationality of the spouse. Passport number of spouse is optional. The section also asks for employment details, which include designation, name of employer and office address. The application form also requires the person filling it to inform if he or she has any relatives in Pakistan.

If the applicant answers yes to ‘Have you ever visited Pakistan’, then the details of previous visits have to be filled in, including dates and purpose of visit.

Part C of the form asks if any criminal case has been registered against the applicant, or if he or she has been convicted by a court or was a member of any banned organisation in India.

Part D involves a declaration and undertaking by the applicant that he or she shall not undertake any activity during the visit to the Gurdwara which is detrimental to the sovereignty and security of India.

Finally, the applicant has to upload a photograph which should be between the size of 10 kb to 300 kb and the front and back pages of the passport. After this is successfully done, the print out of the application form can be taken. An SMS message is received on the applicant’s phone number with his temporary file number.

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What other instructions have to be followed for the visit to Kartarpur Sahib?

Applicants who are granted permission to visit Kartarpur Sahib will be sent an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA), and a copy of this is to be brought to the Dera Baba Nanak immigration check post on the day of travel. Applicants should also go through the website in detail for the various dos and don’ts associated with the visit. Pakistan charges a $20 fee for visitors to Kartarpur Sahib and the same must be catered for by those visiting Kartarpur Sahib.

Is a Covid-19 test required to travel to Kartarpur Sahib?

Yes. As per the guidelines issued by the Pakistan government, all visitors must have a Covid negative RTPCR report not older than 72 hours. A rapid antigen test may also be performed on the visitors once they enter Pakistan.

Will the passport be stamped by immigration authorities in India and Pakistan?

No. There won’t be any stamp put on the passport by Indian or Pakistani immigration authorities. An entry permit will be given at the Indian side of the border, which will be provided to Pakistani authorities after crossing over.

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