Kartarpur corridor: Punjab BJP chief fumes at Pak over new conditions

India Open to Third Party Verification of Pakistani Action Against Terror Camps

India Open to Third Party Verification of Pakistani Action Against Terror Camps

They said India also lambasted Pakistan for its "double-speak" on the matter. Subsequently, Gurdwara Darbar Sahab was built at the site on the Pakistan side and Gurdwara Dera Baba Nanak in India, which are visited by thousands of Sikhs every year.

Despite India's offer in executing long-lasting and comprehensive facilities at Indo-Pak border at the cost of Rs 190 crores, Pakistan restricted the duration of MoU on Kartarpur to two years, said MHA. Singh said that Pakistan's demand that Indian pilgrims should carry their passports defeats the goal of a special corridor.

Despite having assured visa-free access to the corridor, Pakistan through back door introduced the need for issue of a special permit for the pilgrims at an "outrageous" fee which defeats the objective.

"India has approved state of the art passenger terminal building to handle 5,000 pilgrims daily, 15,000 on special occasions". On Friday (March 15), Pakistan laid down various conditions including restricting the corridor facility to Indian passport holders.

"Pakistan is oblivious to the fact that Guru Nanak Dev holds universal appeal among the people here and overseas".

The statement read that the meeting, held in a cordial environment, discussed the modalities and the draft agreement for facilitation of pilgrims to visit Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, using the Kartarpur Corridor. Pakistan has sought to put a limit this to only 500 pilgrims per day.

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Even after the Pulwama terrorist attack on Feb 14, India had a joint meet with Pakistan on the construction of the corridor and Pakistan side played all tricks to spook the work of the corridor.

Director General South Asia and SAARC Dr Faisal led the Pakistani delegation, comprising high officials of Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Communications, National Engineering Services Pakistan (NESPAK) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Both sides held detailed and constructive discussions on various aspects and provisions of the proposed agreement.

The meeting was held at Attari in Gurdaspur district of Punjab on Thursday.

India has already made it clear that the talks on the corridor were being held keeping in mind the emotions and sentiments of the Sikh community and could not be considered the resumption of dialogue between the two countries. India hopes that the special border crossing for pilgrims will open before Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary in November 2019. It is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the worldwide border.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday expressed disappointment at the new demands put forth by Pakistan over the Kartarpur corridor project.

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