ISLAMABAD: Pakistani and Indian delegations on Friday held another round of technical level talks on the Kartarpur corridor.
Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal, while talking to Dawn over the phone, confirmed that the talks were held at the border, more commonly known as the ‘Zero Point’, and that “good progress was made during the discussion”.
A source said that most of the “technical matters” related to construction of the visa-free corridor for Indian Sikhs to visit the Gurdwara in Kartarpur Sahib had been resolved and the project was on schedule for inauguration in time for Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary to be celebrated in November this year.
The technical level talks pertain to the alignment of the corridor and sharing of coordinates of border crossing points and other infrastructure. The two sides would meet shortly for a discussion on the remaining issues, the source said.
FO spokesperson says ‘good progress’ made in discussion
It is important to note that Pakistan had kept the corridor project insulated from the recent tensions with India over annulment of Article 370, subsequent repressive actions in occupied Kashmir and intensified ceasefire violations on the Line of Control. The project had also remained unaffected by the previous episode of escalation between the two sides following the Pulwama attack in February.
Pakistan has taken a number of actions in response to the latest Indian move to end occupied Kashmir’s autonomous status, including downgrading of diplomatic ties and suspension of trade and rail traffic.
There has also been speculation about closure of airspace for Indian aircraft. Dr Faisal had at his weekly media briefing on Thursday said that several options were being studied, but no final decision had been taken.
Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2019