India and Pakistan to hold meeting on Kartarpur Corridor in March
India and Pakistan had unveiled plans last November to build the Kartarpur corridor to facilitate visits by Indian pilgrims to the gurdwara at the site where Guru Nanak died in 1539.Updated: Feb 08, 2019 12:49 IST
India and Pakistan on Thursday agreed to hold the first meeting to finalise modalities for the Kartarpur corridor next month.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted that a team of Pakistani officials would visit India on March 13 to “discuss and finalise modalities for facilitating visit of pilgrims” through the Kartarpur corridor. A follow-up meeting “can be held in Pakistan, as required”, he added.
In another tweet, Kumar said India had also proposed “technical level discussions between engineers on both sides” for quick completion of the corridor, which will connect Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism – with Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur. “We hope Pakistan would positively respond & confirm coordinates of the crossing point as well,” he said. Last month, India had shared with Pakistan its coordinates for the crossing point along the international border.
For expeditious realisation of #kartarpurcorridor, India has also proposed technical level discussions between engineers on both sides without waiting for discussion on the modalities. We hope #Pakistan would positively respond & confirm coordinates of crossing point as well. 2/2— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) February 7, 2019
Kumar’s reply came soon after Pakistan’s foreign office spokesman, Mohammad Faisal, said in a set of tweets that Pakistan had proposed, in a “spirit of constructive engagement”, that its delegation wished to visit India on March 13.
In a spirit of constructive engagement #Pakistan has proposed to India that the Pakistan delegation may visit #India on 13 March followed by the return visit of the Indian delegation to Pakistan on 28 March to finalise the draft agreement for the #kartarpur corridor (1/2)— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@ForeignOfficePk) February 7, 2019
Pakistan also proposed a return visit by an Indian delegation on March 28 to “finalise the draft agreement” for the corridor. Pakistan had recently sent the draft agreement to the Indian side. Last month, apparent differences between the two sides on the venue for a meeting had emerged, with India saying the discussions should be held in New Delhi. The move came shortly after Pakistan proposed dates for the meeting to be held in Islamabad. People familiar with matter said the two sides reached a compromise after Pakistan didn’t insist that the first round of talks be held in Islamabad.
India and Pakistan had unveiled plans last November to build the corridor to facilitate visits by Indian pilgrims to the gurdwara at the site where Guru Nanak died in 1539. Both sides have said they plan to open the corridor on Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary in November 2019.
First Published: Feb 08, 2019 12:49 IST