Blueprint for peace corridor between India and Pakistan

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Amritsar, Nov 20 (ANI): Under the aegis of the Institute for Multi-Track Diplomacy (IMTD), the US based NGO is preparing a blueprint for the "peace corridor" between India and Pakistan in order to support the safe and easy passage of pilgrims to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.

Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib is situated in Pakistan's Narowal District, where Guru Nanak spent more than 18 years of his life. Sikh pilgrims have been demanding a safe passage to the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib from Dera Baba Nanak for years. The Gurdwara is about four km from the Indian side where corridor is to be constructed.

The NGO has currently enrolled engineers, architects and businessmen from India, Pakistan and the United States for this purpose.

The IMTD is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 by Ambassador John W. McDonald and Dr. Louise Diamond to promote a systems-based approach to peace building.

The IMTD believes that involving professionals would be practical steps in the construction of the corridor that would be a major step in the on going "Confidence Building Measures" (CBMs) between India and Pakistan.

Surinder Singh, an engineer from USA, who visited the Indian side of Dera Baba Nanak on Friday along with Anudeep Singh and his wife Surjit Kaur informed ANI that with the help of other professional members of the committee they would prepare a master plan of the "corridor".

He said that he has already visited Pakistani side and examined the viability of the proposed construction of the corridor.

It is pertinent to mention that more than 40 acres of land had already been purchased near the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib with the help of foreign-based Sikhs, prominent contributors being the American Gurdwara Prabhandhak Committee, J. B. Singh of USA and Ranjit Singh of Switzerland.

Singh said that the idea is to promote a religious corridor linking the Sikh holy sites across the Indo-Pak border, and added that this "peace corridor" would help bridge the gulf between the peoples of India and Pakistan

Optimist Anudeep Singh, another member of the committee, said that construction of the Kartarpur Corridor is a task that is of utmost importance to the Sikh community and the dream of millions of people will turn into reality soon.

He said that to fulfil this dream the onus lies on leadership on India and Pakistan who should come together for this issue.

The Sikh diaspora has initiated efforts on various levels to include the Gurdwara Kartarpur corridor in bilateral talks between India and Pakistan.

Anudeep Singh told ANI that a number of representatives have already met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in this regards and PM assured to take steps in this regards.

Last year, then External Affaira Minister Pranab Mukherjee visited the site to assess the feasibility of reopening the corridor to facilitate easy movement of pilgrims.

In order to assist in the smooth transitioning of the project, the IMTD has formed a committee consisting of five members from India, six from the USA and five from Pakistan.

From India Dr. Jairoop Singh, Vice Chancellor, Anudeep Singh, a businessman, B.S. Goraya a social activist, Kuldeep Singh Wadala an activist for Kartarpur Langah committee.

Renowned Pakistani architect and former Chairman of the Institute of Architects in Pakistan, Syed Azmat Ali Zaidi, will be the project director who will be responsible for implementing the feasibility study from Pakistani side.

Other members are engineer Surinder Singh, Gurcharan Singh of the World Bank, Amar Singh Malhi, board member of the Guru Nanak Foundation of America, and Avtar Singh Pannu, President of the NGO, Sikhs for Justice are among the members of the committee. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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