Pakistan, India ready to resume Kartarpur talks on 14th

Published July 3, 2019
Sikh Pilgrims sit in front of Kartarpur Gurdwara Sahib before a groundbreaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor on November 28, 2018. — AFP/File
Sikh Pilgrims sit in front of Kartarpur Gurdwara Sahib before a groundbreaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor on November 28, 2018. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday reaffirmed its commitment to expeditious completion of Kartarpur Corridor as it accepted an Indian proposal for a second bilateral meeting on the modalities for the functioning of visa-free passage in the second week of July.

“Pakistan, today, conveyed to India that the second meeting to discuss the draft agreement for finalising the modalities of Kartarpur Corridor and related technical issues will be held on 14th July, 2019 at Wagah,” said a Foreign Office (FO) statement.

India had earlier pulled out of the second bilateral meeting scheduled for April 2 after the two sides had met at Attari on March 14.

The FO said the Indian side was asked to share the composition of its delegation visiting Wagah on July 14.

FO asks New Delhi to share composition of its delegation visiting Wagah

Just last Saturday a report published by Hindustan Times said New Delhi had proposed to Pakistan that the second meeting of the officials for finalising the modalities of the opening of the corridor be held between July 11 and 14 at Wagah on the Pakistani side of the border.

The corridor, a peace initiative of Pakistani government, is being constructed to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November this year. The corridor will provide Indian Sikhs visa-free access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan.

To work out modalities for the opening of Kartarpur opening, a Pakistani delegation visited Attari where a meeting was held with Indian officials on March 14. While the next round of talks was scheduled for April 2 at Wagah, India pulled out of it over reservations that pro-Khalistan activists such as Gopal Chawla and Bisan Singh had been included in Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee — a body that works for facilitating Sikh pilgrims.

The Indian Ministry for External Affairs on that occasion had stated: “The next meeting on the modalities can be scheduled at an appropriate time after receiving Pakistan’s response.” Pakistan’s FO had then regretted the Indian decision to cancel the meeting.

The statement announcing that the talks had been again scheduled for July 14 said: “Pakistan remains committed to expedite progress on the matter to ensure that the Corridor is operationalised in time for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak in November 2019.”

India has on multiple occasions insisted that its meetings on Kartarpur corridor should not be seen as resumption of engagement between the two sides.

Three rounds of technical-level talks have been held so far between the two sides on the corridor’s alignment, crossing point and infrastructure.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd , 2019

Opinion

Editorial

Another U-turn?
07 Oct, 2022

Another U-turn?

WITHOUT any warning, the PTI has swerved into another spectacular U-turn. After complaining for months that National...
Renewed TTP threat
07 Oct, 2022

Renewed TTP threat

THE interior ministry’s call for ‘extreme vigilance’ and instructions to security forces to conduct ‘search...
Women’s gala in GB
07 Oct, 2022

Women’s gala in GB

REGRESSIVE forces, once again, nearly had their way — this time in Gilgit-Baltistan. A three-day sporting gala for...
‘Draconian’ law
06 Oct, 2022

‘Draconian’ law

THE debate over what it means to be ‘sadiq’ and ‘ameen’ has reignited after the incumbent Supreme Court ...
Welcome clarity
Updated 06 Oct, 2022

Welcome clarity

There needs to be consensus amongst all political actors that matters of governance should be the exclusive domain of civilians.
Car purchases
06 Oct, 2022

Car purchases

IF we are in the market to buy a new car, we end up paying a significantly large amount as premium over the sticker...