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Pakistan Trying to Create 'Mirage of Goodwill' with Offer to Reopen Kartarpur Corridor on Monday, Say Sources

For representation: Sikh devotees stand with folded hands near the zero line as they pay obeisance facing the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara on the day of the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor, in Gurdaspur. (Image: PTI)

For representation: Sikh devotees stand with folded hands near the zero line as they pay obeisance facing the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara on the day of the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor, in Gurdaspur. (Image: PTI)

India's response came hours after Pakistan conveyed its readiness to reopen the corridor on Monday more than three months after it was temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • News18.com New Delhi
  • Last Updated: June 27, 2020, 11:32 PM IST
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Pakistan is trying to create a "mirage of goodwill" by proposing to reopen the Kartarpur corridor on Monday on the occasion of the death anniversary of Sikh guru Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, Indian government sources said on Saturday.

The response came hours after Pakistan conveyed its readiness to India to reopen the corridor on Monday more than three months after it was temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

India temporarily suspended the pilgrimage and registration for the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan on March 16 in view of the coronavirus outbreak.

"It is to be noted that Pakistan is trying to create mirage of goodwill by proposing to resume Kartarpur corridor on June 29, at short notice of two days, while bilateral agreement provides for information to be shared by India with the Pakistan side at least seven days before the date of travel," news agency ANI quoted sources as saying.

"This would need India to open up the registration process well in advance. Besides, Pakistan has not built the bridge on their side across the flood plains of Ravi river despite having committed to it in the bilateral agreement," they added. "With the advent of monsoon, it would need to be evaluated whether pilgrim movement is possible through the corridor in a safe and secure manner."

As the religious places are gradually opening up around the world, Pakistan has also made necessary arrangements to reopen Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for Sikh pilgrims, its Foreign Office said earlier on Saturday. To ensure adherence to the health guidelines, Pakistan has invited India to work out necessary SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for the reopening of the corridor, it added.

Last November, the two countries threw open the corridor linking Dera Baba Sahib in Gurdaspur in India and Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan in a historic people-to-people initiative.

Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. It is the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev, who had spent the last 18 years of his life in Kartarpur.

Indian pilgrims of all faiths are allowed to undertake round the year visa-free travel to the historic gurdwara.

The relations between India and Pakistan nosedived after India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir's special status on August 5, 2019 and bifurcated it into two union territories. Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with India and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.

On Tuesday, India told Pakistan to slash its embassy staff in New Delhi by half, saying it would do the same in Islamabad amidst allegations of spying.

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