Islamabad [Pakistan] : Pakistan on Thursday said that the meeting with India to discuss and finalise the modalities of the Kartarpur corridor went well overall, despite some differences on some issues, and the talks were held in a positive and conducive environment.
Mohammad Faisal, DG (SA and SAARC) of Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which led the delegation, said that discussions were held on issues related to the corridor, its construction, road, and other technicalities, The Dawn reported.
Terming the meeting as an achievement, Faisal said that both India and Pakistan had issued a joint statement after a few years, adding that the same was reached in 2015.
Reading out the statement, he said, “Both sides held detailed and constructive discussions on various aspects and provisions of the proposed agreement and agreed to work towards expeditiously operationalising the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.”
“Both sides also held expert-level discussions between technical experts on the alignment and other details of the proposed corridor,” he added.
An eighteen-member Pakistani delegation had arrived in India on Thursday. The Indian delegation was led by S.C.L. Das, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs.
India and Pakistan agreed to work “expeditiously” to operationalise Kartarpur corridor and decided to hold a meeting of the technical experts on March 19, which will be followed by another round of talks on the issue on April 2.
“The first meeting to discuss the modalities and the draft Agreement for facilitation of pilgrims to visit Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib using the Kartarpur Corridor was held today at Attari, India in a cordial environment.
Both sides held detailed and constructive discussions on various aspects and provisions of the proposed agreement and agreed to work towards expeditiously operationalising the Kartapur Sahib Corridor,” according to a statement by India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
“It was agreed to hold the next meeting at Wagah on 2 April 2019. This will be preceded by a meeting of the technical experts on 19 March 2019 at the proposed zero points to finalise the alignment,” the statement added.
On November 26 last year, India’s Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district.
Two days later, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor in Narowal near Lahore.
Once the corridor is opened, it would allow Sikh pilgrims direct access to the historic Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev breathed his last in 1539.