New Delhi: India, on Thursday, asked Pakistan to allow visa-free access to at least 5,000 pilgrims a day from the Indian side, during the discussion over the Kartarpur corridor. According to a joint statement issued after the discussion, both sides held constructive talks and agreed to work towards the development of the corridor.
Delegations from both the countries held the first meeting to discuss the modalities and the draft agreement for facilitation of pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor. The joint statement revealed that the meeting took at Attari in a cordial environment.
An official from ministry of home affairs said, “Our side pressed on the need for arranging the visit of at least 5,000 pilgrims per day, to begin with, in phase 1 of the project. This should include not only Indian nationals but people of Indian origin as well,” and added that the corridor would receive massive footfall on special days including Gurupurab and Baisakhi.
Deepak Mittal, an official from the ministry of external affairs, said, “This doesn’t mean the resumption of any bilateral dialogues with Pakistan. Our position on the dialogue is very clear. Today what we had was a meeting on the issue of the Kartarpur corridor, with an objective that pilgrims can have easy access to Kartarpur Sahib.”
Last year, India and Pakistan agreed to open a special border linking Gurdwara 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. The Pakistani prime minister, Imran Khan, laid the foundation stone for the Pakistani side of the corridor, in November last year.
The next meeting will be held at Wagah, on April 2, 2019.