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Kartarpur Corridor talks held between India-Pakistan

15 July, 2019

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WAGAH: The second round of talks between India and Pakistan regarding Kartarpur Corridor for Sikh pilgrims was held here on Sunday, which, according to the Foreign Office, concluded with a positive development as both the sides reached consensus on 80 per cent of the issues.

“Another round of talks will be required to sort out the rest of the issues,” FO Spokesperson Dr Faisal said while talking to media at Wagah.

Dr Faisal led the Pakistani side while Home Ministry’s Joint Secretary SCL Das led the eight-member Indian delegation.

After the first round held at Attari on March 14, India had pulled out of the second round of talks scheduled on April 2.

Dr Faisal said the objective behind opening of the Kartarpur Corridor is to achieve peace for what Pakistan was committed. To a question about the number of pilgrims to be allowed through the corridor, Dr Faisal said Pakistan will allow the pilgrims up to the maximum capacity of the facility. “We will do whatever will be possible physically. I cannot go into the figures,” he said. “Our intention is clear and before you. We are willing. This is the prime minister’s initiative and will go up to the maximum possible limit,” he remarked.

Without giving details, he said 20 per cent of the matters are still unresolved which will require another round of talks. However, he said the details of the talks will be shared with the people after both the sides reach an agreement on all the issue. He said as the objective is to make Kartarpur Corridor a ‘corridor for peace’, therefore Pakistan is trying to overcome the mutual differences. “God willing, this is an effort towards the very direction,” he commented.

Earlier before the talks, Dr Faisal told media that as per Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directive, Pakistan is committed to materialising Kartarpur Corridor into reality for the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He said more than 70 per cent work on Gurdwara Complex, terminal building and road has been completed as the work on Pakistani side is heading fast.

Later, Dr Faisal also planted a sapling at the complex and tweeted the image with a hashtag #TreeofPeace.

The committee includes Sardar Ravinder Singh, Sardar Andar Jeet Singh, Dr Mampal Singh and Sardar Ameer Singh from Punjab; Sardar Baba Harmeet Singh, Sardar Sarbat Singh and Sardar Satwant Singh from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Dr Sagarjeet Singh and Sardar Wikash Singh Khalisa from Sindh and Sardar Sagar Singh from Balochistan.

India had earlier pulled out of the talks expressing reservations over the inclusion of Gopal Chawla and Bisan Singh in the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee – assigned the task of facilitating the pilgrims – accusing them of being pro-Khalistan activists.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony notified an amended list of committee members. The 13 members of the newly notified committee include four from Punjab, three from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, two from Sindh and one from Balochistan. According to the notification, the chairman of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) will be the convener of the committee. The ETPB joint and additional secretaries of shrines have also been included in the body.

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