ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India on Thursday agreed to proceed talks aimed toward finalising modalities for the Kartarpur Corridor in a uncommon joint assertion issued by the 2 sides on any difficulty in recent times.
The assembly at Attari in India to debate the modalities and draft settlement for facilitation of Sikh pilgrims to go to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib utilizing the Kartarpur Corridor was the primary formal interplay between the 2 neighbours following their latest navy standoff.
Opposite to the general hostile relationship, the 2 sides stated the assembly was held in a ‘cordial surroundings.’ The Pakistani delegation led by Dr Muhammad Faisal, the pinnacle of South Asia desk on the international ministry, crossed the Wagah border on foot for the primary of a sequence of conferences on the corridor.
Earlier than strolling throughout the border, Faisal instructed reporters that opening the hall to permit Sikhs entry to their most reverential place of worship had been a longstanding request of the Sikh group.
“That is additionally reflective of the significance and primacy that Pakistan offers to all its minorities,” stated Faisal, who can also be spokesperson of the Overseas Office.
He stated Pakistan was holding talks with India as a part of its “constructive engagement and suppleness and according to our honest efforts to deescalate the scenario for regional peace and stability.”
Pakistan additionally hopes the Kartarpur initiative would result in extra significant engagement with India.
“We hope that this initiative of the prime minister is not going to solely facilitate Sikhs, particularly from India however within the present vitiated scenario generally is a step ahead in the appropriate path from battle to cooperation, animosity to peace and enmity to friendship,” Faisal stated.
A joint assertion, which was the primary since 2015, stated the each side held detailed and constructive discussions on varied elements and provisions of the proposed settlement and agreed to work in the direction of expeditiously operationalising the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. The 2 sides additionally held skilled stage discussions between the technical consultants on the alignment and different particulars of the proposed corridor.
It was agreed to carry the following assembly at Wagah on April 2. This will probably be preceded by a gathering of technical consultants on March 19 on the proposed zero factors to finalise the alignment.
Kartarpur is a small city in Narowal, four km from the Pakistan-India border, the place the founding father of the Sikh faith, Baba Guru Nanak spent the final 18 years of his life.
Subsequently, Gurdwara Darbar Sahab was constructed on the web site on the Pakistan aspect and Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak in India, that are visited by hundreds of Sikhs yearly.
In January, Pakistan shared its draft settlement with India and proposed that Pakistan delegation could visit India on March 14 adopted by visit of the Indian delegation to Pakistan.
Final month, when Pakistan and India have been virtually on the point of a conflict, there have been fears that talks on the Kartarpur Corridor may not happen. However Pakistan caught to the deliberate talks forcing India to reciprocate since Sikhs in India additionally wished the corridor to be operational later this yr.
Whereas there could also be a ahead motion on the Kartarpur initiative, there’s little chance of resumption of dialogue course of between the 2 international locations on different topics.
The truth is, the day the 2 sides met at Attari, Indian Exterior Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made it clear that her nation wouldn’t enter into any dialogue except “Pakistan takes decisive motion towards terrorist teams.”