'India, Pak in contact on Kartarpur corridor issue'

Last Updated 28 January 2019, 04:59 IST

Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ajay Bisaria has said that the two sides were in contact on the Kartarpur corridor and that New Delhi has already appointed a focal person for the purpose.

He made the remarks on Saturday night during an informal interaction with the media personnel invited to attend the reception to celebrate the 70th Republic Day of India.

Bisaria said India had consented to the basic points about the Kartarpur corridor except for its zero-point (crossing point).

He said both the countries were in contact over Kartarpur corridor.

"So many meetings have taken place on this matter (Kartarpur corridor)," he said.

But he ruled out any quick resumption of talks due to upcoming election in India.

"Because of (upcoming) elections in India, the bilateral political contacts might be difficult for now," he said.

He went on to say that trust-building was important before resuming political dialogue between the two countries.

India last week shared with Pakistan the coordinates of the zero point (crossing point) of the corridor along the International Border with Pakistan.

Both sides are yet to finalise the modalities of travel of the Indian pilgrims to the Gurudwara.

The much-awaited corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur - the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev - with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur.

The corridor was a long-pending demand of the Sikh community. Pakistan has committed to open the corridor in November on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on November 26 last year laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor in Gurdaspur district.

Two days later on November 28, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the corridor at Narowal, 125 km from Lahore.

Bisaria said that 2019 was important for India as it marks 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev and the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

The reception was attended by politicians, parliamentarians, diplomats, media persons, businessmen and civil society representatives.

(Published 27 January 2019, 09:32 IST)

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