Third round of India- Pakistan talks on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor

What is the news?

  • The third round of talks with Pakistan on the modalities for operationalisation of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor held at Attari, Amritsar. Indian delegation comprised of representatives from the Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Defence, Government of Punjab, Land Ports Authority of India, National Highways Authority of India, in addition to Ministry of Home Affairs.
  • The meeting reviewed the progress reached in the two rounds of Joint Secretary Level meetings and four rounds of Technical Level meetings, held earlier.
  • In various round talk both sides discussed the issues related to alignment of the road and infrastructure for the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, temporary service road pending the bridge to be built by Pakistan, modality and format for sharing details regarding pilgrims and evacuation procedures in case of emergencies.

In which points both party agreed?

  1. Agreement on visa free travel of Indian pilgrims, without any restrictions based on their faith. Persons of Indian origin holding OCI card too can visit Holy Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the Corridor.
  2. 5,000 pilgrims can visit Holy Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the Corridor every day. Additional pilgrims, over and above the figure of 5,000, can visit on special occasions, subject to capacity expansion by Pakistan side. Pakistan has conveyed its assurance to increase this number.
  3. The Corridor will be operational throughout the year, seven days a week. Pilgrims will have a choice to visit as individuals or in groups, and on foot.
  4. Both sides agreed to build the bridge at Budhi Ravi Channel. Pending the construction of the bridge on Pakistan side, both sides agreed to the crossing point coordinates of the temporary service road being built.
  5. The Pakistan side has agreed to make sufficient provision for preparation and distribution of ‘Langar’ and ‘Prasad’ for the pilgrims.

What are inflexibility points?

  • Pakistan has insisted on charging a service fee for allowing Pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, which is repugnant to the spirit of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.
  • Pakistan has insisted on charging a service fee for allowing Pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, which is repugnant to the spirit of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor.
  • Despite India’s persistent request to allow additional ten thousand (10,000) pilgrims on special occasions such as Gurpurab and Baisakhi, Pakistan side has highlighted infrastructural constraints on their side and conveyed that they may be able to step up subject to the availability of capacity.

Kartarpur Corridor

  • It is a four-lane corridor proposed on the border of India and Pakistan, which connects Dera Baba Nanak Sahib of India with Gurudwara Baba Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan with a length of 4.7 km.
  • It was first proposed by the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Nawaz Sharif in 1999. It was part of the Delhi Lahore bus service diplomacy.
  • At present, devotees can go to Kartarpur only through the Lahore bus service, which covers 125 km. While devotees have to visit the Border of India, the Gurudwara Baba Sahit can be seen through vernacular. It is about 4 km from the border of India.
  • The Gurudwara Baba Sahib of Kartarpur was founded in 1504 by Guru Nanak Dev Ji and he was died at this place.
  • In the partition of 1947, the region went to the Punjab province of Pakistan, which come in the Shakargarh tehsil of Pakistan.
  • On November 26, 2018, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu laid the foundation stone for its development at Dera Baba Nanak Sahib.

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