Kartarpur corridor: India, Pakistan to meet this week

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The Kartarpur Corridor talks would go on despite tension between India and Pakistan post Pulwama attack by JeM and Air Strike by Indian Air Force in Balakot.

India has said its first meeting with Pakistan to finalise the modalities for Kartarpur corridor would be held at the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border on March 14.

The announcement came a day after Pakistan said it would send a delegation to India on March 14 to discuss a draft agreement for setting up of the corridor to facilitate visa-free visit of Sikh pilgrims to the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib.

The first meeting between India and Pakistan to discuss and finalise the modalities for Kartarpur corridor would be held at Attari-Wagah (Indian side) on March 14, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

It said the meeting is being held in keeping with the government’s decision to operationalise the Kartarpur corridor on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak and meet the long-pending public demand to have easy and smooth access to the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib.

“India has also proposed that a technical level discussion on the alignment of the corridor be held on the same day on the sidelines of this meeting,” the MEA said.

India and Pakistan have agreed to set up a border crossing linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur — the final resting place of Sikh faith”s founder Guru Nanak Dev — to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district, PTI reported.

Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.

The corridor will facilitate the visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur. Pakistan has committed to open the corridor in November on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

India’s Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on November 26 last year laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor in Gurdaspur district.

Two days later, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Narowal, 125 km from Lahore.

The statement comes a week after the Indian Air Force (IAF) targeted a terrorism camp in Pakistan’s Balakot on February 26, spurring the neighbouring country to send F-16 fighters across the border the next day.

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