Pakistan expects to resume talks on Kartarpur Corridor after elections in India
Islamabad: Pakistan expects to resume talks with India to finalise the agreement on the Kartarpur Corridor once the new government takes charge in New Delhi, according to a Pakistani media report.
The Kartarpur Corridor links Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Narowal with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab. The corridor, once operational, will provide a visa-free access to Sikhs from India to their holiest Shrine located inside Pakistan.
Pakistan expects the resumption of talks on the Kartarpur Corridor once the new government takes charge in India, official sources were quoted as saying by the Express Tribune on Sunday.
The last phase of six-week long general elections in India is scheduled to take place on May 19 and final results would be announced on May 23.
A senior Pakistani official said there was no delay on Pakistan’s part.
“It is India that is not willing to engage at this juncture,” the official added while requesting anonymity.
However, the official said Pakistan was confident that India would resume talks after the elections.
The two countries, nevertheless, held technical level talks at Zero Point (Kartarpur) on April 16.
The Indian team was supposed to pay a return visit to Pakistan in April but New Delhi pulled out of the meeting at the last minute citing concerns over the committee formed by Pakistan to facilitate the Sikh pilgrims.
India as expressed concerns over the presence of several Khalistani separatists in the ten-member Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) appointed by Pakistan on the Kartarpur Corridor.
Last November, India and Pakistan agreed to set up the border crossing linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.
Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
The Shrine is visible from the Indian side of the border and everyday a larger number of Sikh devotees gather to perform Darshan or sacred viewings of the site.
The two sides continued talks on the corridor despite their recent military standoff.
But Pakistan is hopeful that the corridor will become functional on the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in November this year.
-Press Trust of India