Kartarpur corridor: India-Pak talks today, Islamabad disappointed over denial of visas to scribes
Amritsar, Mar 13: Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner to India, Syed Haider Shah, on Wednesday arrived in Amritsar for talks on the Kartarpur Corridor between the two sides slated to be held on Thursday (March 14). The other members of the Pakistani delegation, which would be headed by their director general, South Asia, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will arrive tomorrow.
"It is an initiative of Pakistan. We want to open Kartarpur Corridor so that Sikh people from here can visit it in Pakistan. The meeting will be held tomorrow," Syed Haider Shah told ANI today.
When asked about the issue regarding visa modalities, he said, " It will be discussed tomorrow."
Indian and Pakistani officials will meet at Attari, near Amritsar, on Thursday. This will be followed by a visit to Islamabad of an Indian delegation on March 28.
The scheduled bilateral meeting will see both the sides finalising the draft agreement for Kartarpur Corridor, which will link Baba Nanak village in Punjab to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal in Pakistan. Both sides are yet to finalise the modalities of travel of the Indian pilgrims to the Gurudwara. India has shared a draft memorandum of agreement with the Pakistani side. The sole purpose of the meeting would be to align infrastructure and security requirements between both sides to ensure smooth passage of pilgrims, said reports.
Meanwhile, Islamabad has expressed disappointment over India allegedly denying visas to Pakistani journalists for the meeting.
"Regrettable that India has not given visas to Pakistani journalists for the Kartarpur meeting tomorrow," said Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson of the Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Wednesday via Twitter.
Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur is 120 km from Lahore. It is built on the historic site where Guru Nanak settled and assembled a Sikh community after his missionary travels. The present gurdwara is built on the site where Guru Nanak died, on 22 September 1539. The gurdwara is also notable for its location near the border between Pakistan and India. The shrine is visible from the Indian side of the border as Pakistani authorities generally trim the tall Elephant grass that would otherwise obstruct the view.