Pakistan on Thursday proposed to send a delegation to India on March 13 to finalise the draft agreement to build the Kartarpur corridor.
In November 2018, New Delhi and Islamabad laid the foundation stone for the project that will connect Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Punjab with the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur area of Pakistan’s Narowal district. Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, died in Kartarpur in 1539. The corridor will allow Indian Sikh devotees to travel without visas to the pilgrimage site.
Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, who made the announcement on Twitter, also proposed a return visit by an Indian delegation on March 28. He said the proposal was made in the spirit of “constructive engagement”. “We look forward to positive reciprocity from India,” Faisal tweeted.
The Ministry of External Affairs welcomed the Pakistan’s decision. “Follow up meeting can be held in Pakistan, as required,” said ministry of spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. “For expeditious realisation of Kartarpur corridor, India has also proposed technical level discussions between engineers on both sides without waiting for discussion on the modalities. We hope Pakistan would positively respond and confirm coordinates of crossing point as well.”
In January, Pakistan described India’s response to its proposal to finalise an agreement on the opening of the corridor as childish and claimed that its response would be mature. Islamabad had sent New Delhi a draft of the proposed agreement on the corridor and called for negotiations to begin.
Earlier that month, India had shared the coordinates of crossing point of the corridor along the International Border with Pakistan. India had also invited a delegation from Islamabad, and suggested possible dates for talks – February 26 and March 7.