Pilgrims’ safety, connectivity on agenda in India-Pakistan Kartarpur corridor talks
India had flagged the presence of a Khalistani separatist in a committee appointed by Islamabad for talks on the Kartarpur corridor project. Pakistan eventually dropped Chawla ahead of Sunday’s talks.Updated: Jul 14, 2019 13:30 IST
The second round of talks between India and Pakistan to finalise modalities of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims began Sunday at the Attari-Wagah border on the Pakistani side a day after Islamabad dropped pro-Khalistan leader Gopal Singh Chawla from its team of negotiators..
Major issues such as connectivity at Zero Point and the number of pilgrims to be allowed through the Kartarpur corridor will be discussed at the meeting, government sources said. India is also expected to flag its concerns over the security aspect.
India had earlier flagged the presence of Gopal Singh Chawla, a leading Khalistani separatist in a committee appointed by Islamabad for talks on the Kartarpur project. Pakistan eventually dropped Chawla ahead of Sunday’s talks.
Watch | Indian delegation at Wagah border for bilateral meet with Pak over Kartarpur
The two sides are set to discuss matters related to the modalities of the corridor and who can use it and its facilities. Documents required by pilgrims and the number of people to be allowed would be on the agenda of the meeting, sources said.
Indian officials are also expected to discuss the issue of connectivity at the Zero Point. New Delhi has hopes that issues like connectivity at the Zero point and visit of large number of pilgrims on the special occasions will be discussed thoroughly. The project will allow easy access to Sikh pilgrims from India to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan, the final resting place of Guru Nanak.
Kartarpur is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district, about four km from Dera Baba Nanak in in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.
As part of connectivity, work on a four-lane highway on the Indian side is in full swing while Pakistan is constructing a two-lane highway. India is targeting to complete the four-lane highway by September, officials said.
Construction work at the site of passenger terminal complex at Dera Baba Nanak in India is progressing fast ahead of its planned completion by October 31 before the commemoration of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November, officials said.
In November 2018, Pakistan agreed to set up the border-crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak.