Work on Kartarpur Corridor Will Be Done in Time, Says MEA; India, Pakistan to Discuss Modalities on July 14
The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims.
File photo of MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.
New Delhi: Refuting claims that the work on Kartarpur corridor is going on with slow pace, Ministry of External Affairs said it is hopeful that the projects will be completed in time.
“We are hopeful that the work on the Kartarpur corridor will be completed in time. The reports which say that we're slow in terms of finishing our projects are wrong,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Thursday.
He said the project is focusing on two aspects, a state-of-the-art passenger terminal and a four-lane highway which is going to connect zero point of Kartarpur corridor to national highway and will be completed by October 2019.
Kumar said India has taken up the infrastructure related points with Pakistan. “There is discussion underway on whether there should be a bridge or a paved road and on other aspects,” Kumar said.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has said that experts from both sides will meet on July 14 at the Wagah border to discuss the modalities of the Kartarpur corridor and related technical issues.
The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.
"The Indian delegation will come to Pakistan for the talks to be held at Wagah," Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Muhammad Faisal said at his weekly news briefing.
The FO on July 2 said that Pakistan has proposed July 14 for the second round of talks with India to discuss the draft agreement, which was accepted by New Delhi.
The first meeting of officials of Pakistan and India to finalise the modalities of the landmark corridor was held in Attari in the shadow of escalating bilateral tensions in March following the Pulwama terror attack by a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed on February 14.
India had conveyed its concerns over the presence of several Khalistani separatists in a committee appointed by Pakistan on the Kartarpur corridor.
Last November, India and Pakistan agreed to set up the border crossing linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district.
Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
Two days later, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Narowal, 125 km from Lahore.
Early this month, Pakistan government earmarked Rs 100 crore in the federal budget 2019-20 for the development of the much-awaited corridor.
The funds will be used for land acquisition and development of infrastructure of Kartarpur under Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) for the next financial year 2019-20.
(With PTI inputs)
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