BJP national secretary RP Singh has asked Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to withdraw his decision to charge the Sikh pilgrims going to Kartarpur Sahib a fee of $ 20 (about Rs 1,400) each. He said if Pakistan was facing an economic crisis, the Sikhs can help it, provided the Islamic country spends the money on the development of the gurdwara. The BJP leader said that it was very sad that Pakistan was preparing to levy jizya (tax on non-Muslims levied by some Muslim rulers in India and other Islamic colonies during the medieval era) in the name of service to pilgrims.
Pakistan will earn Rs 225 crore a year for every devotee at $ 20.
Elaborating on jizya, Singh said that Pakistan should reveal how much money it had spent on the development of Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara. “The Sikhs will return that money to Imran Khan,” he said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said, “I had invited former Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh for the inauguration ceremony of Kartarpur Corridor. I thank him that he wrote me a letter and said that he would come — not as the chief guest but as a common man…”
Qureshi said further that if Manmohan Singh visited Kartarpur Sahib as an ordinary pilgrim, “we will welcome him“. There has been no response to the jizya jibe from Pakistan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Kartarpur Corridor on 8 November at Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur, Punjab. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has invited President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi for the inauguration ceremony to be held in Sultanpur Lodhi.
The corridor will be opened on 9 November in Pakistan. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, pulling out all stops to ensure his country emerges from its current financial crisis, has expressed hope that the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor would strengthen the economy of Pakistan.