India, Pakistan agree to expeditiously operationalise Kartarpur Corridor
New Delhi, Mar 14: Amid the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan, the officials of the two countries met for the first time to discuss the technical aspects and draft agreement for setting up Kartarpur corridor that will allow a passport and visa free darshan' for the Indian pilgrims.
The meeting at Attari was done in a cordial environment, according to the joint statement released by both countries.
"Both sides held detailed and constructive discussions on various aspects and provisions of the proposed agreement and agreed to work towards expeditiously operationalizing the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor," said the statement.
"Both sides also held expert level discussions between the technical experts on the alignment and other details of the proposed corridor. It was agreed to hold the next meeting at Wagah on 2 April 2019," added the statement.
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.
From the Indian side, officials comprised representatives from the Union Home Ministry, External Affairs Ministry, BSF, National Highways Authority of India and the Punjab government.
Meanwhile, Islamabad has expressed disappointment over India allegedly denying visas to Pakistani journalists for the meeting.
India-Pakistan relations hit a new low last month after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personals were killed.Pakistan, on its part, has also decided to begin building the Kartarpur corridor, with Prime Minister Imran Khan laying the foundation stone.
Kartarpur is located in Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab. Guru Nanak Dev had spent over 18 years of his life here. The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located about three to 4km from the Indo-Pak border in Pakistan.