Pakistan and India second round of talks on Kartarpur corridor, a key border crossing for Sikh pilgrims, on Sunday has ended with positive developments.
General South Asia and Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mohammad Faisal said “Today’s meeting was very positive and in my opinion both side has been agreed on over 80% details of proposed agreement.”
During the meeting, India requested Pakistan to allow visa free travel for the Indian passport holders and OCI card holders seven days a week. They have asked 5,000 pilgrims be allowed to visit Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara per day throughout the year.
Details of the bridge that India is building on its side were shared, and Pakistani side was urged to also build a bridge on their side. This would not only address the flooding related concerns, but also ensure smooth, hassle free, all-weather pilgrimage to the Holy Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, throughout the year.
In November last year, Islamabad and New Delhi had agreed to open Kartarpur crossing for Sikh pilgrims ahead of 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikh religion, to be held this year in Pakistan.
Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara situated in Narowal — some 115 kilometers (71 miles) from the provincial capital Lahore — is one of the most revered temple for the Sikh community as Baba Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life there.
The distance between the temple and Gurdaspur is merely 3 kilometers (2 miles) but the closure of this crossing costs Sikh pilgrims from India to travel hundreds of kilometers, via Amritsar and Lahore, to reach here.