India has shared a draft agreement on the Kartarpur Corridor with Pakistan, Hindustan Times reported on Sunday. New Delhi shared the draft pact after the two sides failed to reach an agreement even after the third round of talks on September 4.
“It is hoped Pakistan will show the desired flexibility and concur with the draft agreement so as to ensure that the corridor is opened in November on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak,” an unidentified official told the newspaper. The corridor will connect Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district to Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan.
On Thursday, Islamabd had announced that it would charge pilgrims using the Kartarpur corridor $20 (approximately Rs 1,420.61) service fee. The country’s foreign ministry had clarified that it was not an entrance fee and was meant to cover 10% to 15% of the costs. India had described it as Pakistan’s “inflexible attitude”.
Islamabad had also refused to grant New Delhi’s requests to allow 10,000 pilgrims to use the corridor on special occasions along with consular presence in the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara. Officials from the two sides had discussed the draft agreement and operationalisation of the corridor and related technical matters in July.
Amid ongoing discussions on the project, tension between the two countries have since New Delhi’s decision to revoke Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with India and suspended bilateral trade.
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