Kartarpur Talk Not Resumption of Bilateral Dialogue with Pak: MEA
Indian and Pakistani delegations held talks on Thursday, 14 March, on the Kartarpur Corridor. 

Kartarpur Talk Not Resumption of Bilateral Dialogue with Pak: MEA

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India has been prompted to demand an early restoration of these lands to the shrine after Pakistan allowed rampant encroachment on the lands belonging to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib in Nalowal district of its Punjab Province, ANI reported quoting government sources on Friday, 15 March.

Addressing the media after the conclusion of the first meeting on the Kartarpur Corridor, MEA joint secretary Deepak Mittal on Thursday had said, "This doesn't mean resumption of any bilateral dialogues with Pakistan."

The Indian side further said on Thursday, 14 March, that it had stressed that 5,000 pilgrims should be allowed to visit every day in the first phase of the project and that the travel should be absolutely visa-free.

The two countries concluded their first meeting on Thursday to finalise the modalities for setting up of a corridor linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistani town of Kartarpur with Gurdaspur district in Punjab, three months after the two countries agreed on the project.

The next meeting will be held in Wagah on 2 April.

  • A meeting of technical experts would be held on 19 March at the proposed zero points to finalise the alignment, the joint statement said
  • The meet came amid tensions between India and Pakistan after the Pulwama terror attack that left 40 CRPF jawans martyred
  • Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine
  • The government has identified 50 acres of land for the Kartarpur Corridor, which will be developed in two phases

Pak Govt 'Surreptitiously Usurped' Land Belonging to Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara: Officials

Pakistan has "surreptitiously usurped" lands belonging to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara in the name of developing a corridor for the convenience of pilgrims and objected to most of the Indian proposals for the project, reflecting its "double-speak", officials said on Friday, PTI reported.

'Pak Sought to Put a Limit to Only 500 Pilgrims per Day': Govt Sources

India has approved state of the art passenger terminal building to handle 5000 pilgrims daily, 15,000 on special occasions, whereas Pakistan has sought to put a limit to only 500 pilgrims per day, ANI reported quoting government sources.

“Pakistan assured visa free access to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, however, now it has asked for requirement of issue of special permit to each pilgrim, defeating purpose of dedicated corridor. It is asking to restrict to only 500 Sikh ‘Yatris’ a day, no movement on foot, to travel only in groups of 15.”

'This Doesn't Mean Resumption of Any Bilateral Dialogues With Pakistan': MEA Joint Secy

Addressing the media after the conclusion of the first meeting on the Kartarpur Corridor, MEA joint secretary Deepak Mittal said, "This doesn't mean resumption of any bilateral dialogues with Pakistan."

"Our position on the dialogue is very clear... Today. what we had was a meeting on the issue of the Kartarpur corridor, with an objective that pilgrims can have an easy access to Kartarpur Sahib," he added.

“Our expectations were made clear to Pakistan side that we would like them not to allow any miscreant. We would not like them to allow any kind of activity which would be against the spirit with which pilgrims would be going to Kartarpur Gurudwara.”
MEA joint secretary Deepak Mittal

Watch: Media Briefing After India-Pakistan Joint Statement on Kartarpur Corridor

Addressing the media after the conclusion of the first meeting on the Kartarpur Corridor, the Indian side said on Thursday, 14 March, it had stressed that 5,000 pilgrims should be allowed to visit every day in the first phase of the project and that the travel should be absolutely visa-free.

SCL Das, the joint secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs who led the Indian delegation, said that the Pakistani side has assured them that it would revert on New Delhi's demands. "We hope that in the next round of talks, we would be able to deliver," he added.

“Our side pressed on the need for arranging the visit of at least 5,000 pilgrims per day to begin with, in phase 1 of the project. This should include not only Indian nationals but people of Indian-origin as well.”
SCL Das

On the demand for visa-free travel, Das asserted that there should not be any additional encumbrances in the form of any additional documentation or procedures.

The Indian side also suggested that pilgrims should be allowed to travel on foot to the Kartarpur shrine and that the corridor should remain open for seven days a week.

'Respecting the Sentiments of the People': MEA After Talks

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar took to Twitter after the conclusion of talks on the Kartarpur Corridor on Thursday, saying they were oriented towards respecting the sentiments of the people.

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