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To de-escalate Indo-Pak tensions, all eyes on Kartarpur talks

By Anuj Cariappa
|

Islamabad, Mar 08: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said improved relations between India and Pakistan will lead to peace and stability in the region and the exchange of visits by delegations of the two countries discuss the Kartarpur Corridor will help in de-escalating tensions.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi

Qureshi's comment came following his meeting with Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Sohail Mehmood, who discussed with him the relations and current situation between Islamabad and New Delhi.

Mehmood, who is scheduled to return to New Delhi after he was summoned by Islamabad for consultations following flare up of tensions between the two neighbours after the Pulwama terror attack.

"Pakistan desires de-escalation and an improvement in the current situation. The delegation-level visits will play a key role in this," Qureshi was quoted as saying by Geo News.

PAF shot down 2 IAF fighter jets: Pak foreign minister tells Parliament

"In March, both the countries will hold consultations over the Kartarpur Corridor," he said.

Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district in February 14.

India launched a counter-terror operation in Balakot on February 26. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1.

Qureshi also said that Pakistan wants peace in the region and has taken several steps in this regard.

India and Pakistan will discuss on March 14 the modalities of the operationalisation of the Kartarpur Corridor to facilitate easy access by Indian Sikhs to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.

India had earlier said that the discussions with Pakistan over the Kartarpur Corridor would be held according to the government's decision to operationalise the corridor for easy access to the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

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