Pakistan on Wednesday proposed another round of talks for next week to finalise the agreement with India on Kartarpur corridor in view of the ‘approaching deadline’ of the 550th birthday of Guru Nanak Dev. Islamabad also said that it handed over a comprehensive dossier to New Delhi in response to the dossier shared by India in the second meeting. This comes after New Delhi and Islamabad failed to finalise an agreement on the Kartarpur corridor following differences over key issues including Islamabad’s insistence on charging a fee for allowing pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. The Indian delegation at the meet was led by Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, SCL Das. Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal led the Pakistani delegation.
“In view of the paucity of time and the impending deadline of the 550th (birth anniversary of Shri Guru Nanak Devji) celebrations, Pakistan proposed that the next round of meeting be held at the earliest, preferably next week, to finalise the draft agreement,” said Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement. The Indian ministry said that both sides held detailed discussions on the outstanding issues including the issuances of cards to the visiting pilgrims. It also added that both sides agreed to the issue on identification card for visiting pilgrims and a joint working group would be constituted 'for facilitating the smooth implementation of the agreement.' During the meeting, both the sides have also agreed on visa-free travel by Indian pilgrims to Gurdwara in Pakistan using the corridor. Moreover, it will allow as many as 5,000 pilgrims to visit the Gurdwara every day.
Pakistani side had highlighted infrastructure constraints to accommodate 15,000 pilgrims on special occasions. However, the corridor will be operation round-the-clock throughout the year. The pilgrims will have a choice to visit either as individuals or in groups. Das, while addressing the media, said that all the facilities on the Indian side would be ready for the pilgrimage through the corridor for the auspicious occasion of Guru Nanak Dev’s anniversary.
Guru Nanak Devji is the founder and the first Guru of Sikhism and was born in the year 1469, in the village Talwandi which is located in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. After completing his spiritual journey, Guru Nanak settled in Kartarpur, also known as the 'City of the Creator'. This city was established by Guru Nanak himself in 1522. He had become widely renowned and respected by everyone for the love and guidance he'd bestowed on humanity.
(Inputs from ANI)