- Recently the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has announced that India is ready to adopt a positive approach and engage in dialogue with Pakistan on the Upgradation of the Joint Protocol on Religious Pilgrimage for the year 1974.
- It will allow air travel and may also increase the number of pilgrims from both the countries.
- The Indian government is considering reopening the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara Corridor in Pakistan after about 20 months to allow Sikh pilgrims to pass through. It was closed due to the Kovid-19 pandemic.
- Earlier India and Pakistan had exchanged the list of their nuclear installations.
- Under the Protocol, both the countries have agreed on the following principles to facilitate the visit to such pilgrimage sites:
- Pilgrimage from one country to another will be allowed without discrimination on the basis of religion or sect. Soon the list of pilgrimage sites to be visited will be finalized through correspondence.
- The agreed list may be extended from time to time by mutual consent.
- The protocol currently includes five Muslim shrines on the Indian side and 15 shrines on the Pakistani side, most of which are gurdwaras.
- 20 teams can be allowed to travel from one country to another every year. This number may be revised from time to time.
- Every effort should be made to ensure that the places of worship mentioned in the agreed list are properly maintained and their sanctity is maintained.
- Such visitors/visitors will be given a visitor category visa.
- The Kartarpur Corridor connects Darbar Sahib Gurdwara in Narowal district of Pakistan with Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in Gurdaspur district of Punjab province of India.
- This corridor was built on November 12, 2019 to mark the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism.