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Pak to open Kartarpur Corridor for Pilgrims, Imran Khan to break ground


Islamabad, Nov 22: Pakistan has conveyed to India its decision to open Kartarpur Corridor for Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Thursday, even as the Foreign Office said it cannot do much unless New Delhi responds.

Pakistan PM Imran Khan. PTI file photo

Mr Qureshi's statement came hours after India urged Pakistan to build a corridor to Katarpur Sahib to facilitate easy movement of Indian pilgrims to the shrine -- the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev.

Kartarpur Sahib is situated in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province and there have been demands to build a corridor linking it with Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district of Punjab.

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"Pakistan has already conveyed to India its decision to open Kartarpura Corridor for Baba Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary. PM Imran Khan will do break ground at Kartarpura facilities on 28th November. We welcome the Sikh community to Pakistan for this auspicious occasion," Mr Qureshi said in a tweet.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India has approached the Pakistani government to recognise the sentiments of the Sikh community and build the corridor, in keeping with the resolution adopted by the Cabinet Thursday to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev next year.

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In response, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said Pakistan Prime Minister (Imran) Khan has proposed in writing to hold talks on all issues, including Kartarpura, but India refused to come forward.

He said Pakistan's efforts were continuing and it issued 3,838 visas to Indian Sikhs to visit Pakistan to attend religious ceremonies.

"We on our part will continue our efforts but we cannot do much unless there is response from the other side," Mr Faisal said.

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