India, Pakistan officials hold technical meeting on Kartarpur corridor
India and Pakistan on Tuesday held a meeting on technical aspects of the proposed Kartarpur corridor linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Narowal with to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district in Punjab, officials said.
At the nearly four-hour-long meeting, which took place in makeshift tents at “Zero point” of the proposed corridor, experts and technicians from both the countries discussed “timing for completion of bridge, alignment of roads and engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points”, they said.
Official sources said India proposed the meeting to address outstanding technical issues for the corridor and Pakistan agreed to it, adding implementation of the project is progressing with “speed”.
While the meeting was on, civilians were not allowed access to a point on the Indian side from where they can have see Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib through binoculars.
Various issues were discussed for speedy completion of the proposed project, the officials said.
The Pakistani team included 8-10 delegates from the foreign ministry, and religion and federal works departments, while the 12-member Indian team comprised officials from the Land Ports Authority of India, National Highways Authority of India, Centre Public Work Department and Border Security Force.
In November 2018, India and Pakistan had agreed to set up the border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, the final resting place of Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak, to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district.
Kartarpur is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the Ravi, about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak.
The first meeting to finalise the modalities for the corridor took place on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border on March 14.
Technical experts of the two countries met on March 19 during which alignment, coordinates and several other engineering aspects of the proposed corridor were discussed.
However, on March 29, India conveyed its strong concerns to Pakistan over the presence of a leading Khalistani separatist in a committee appointed by Islamabad on the Kartarpur project.