SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema speaking to ANI in Chandigarh on Sunday. Photo/ANI
SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema speaking to ANI in Chandigarh on Sunday. Photo/ANI

SAD welcomes Kartarpur corridor talks

ANI | Updated: Jul 14, 2019 17:56 IST

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], July 14 (ANI): The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday welcomed the talks between India and Pakistan over Kartarpur corridor, saying that both sides should continue to make efforts to solve the pressing issues and operationalise the route soon.
"It is a welcome step. They are meeting for the second time. The two countries should continue to make efforts to solve issues coming in the way of the project and operationalise Kartarpur corridor soon," SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema told ANI.
India and Pakistan on Sunday were able to further narrow down their differences on Kartarpur corridor and said that they have agreed to the majority of modalities to be finalised for the operational of Sikh pilgrimage passage.
The two countries also agreed to hold another meeting to formally conclude the agreement.
Mohammed Faisal, the spokesperson of Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign affairs, said that 80 per cent of the agreement has been finalised.
The Kartarpur corridor along the India-Pakistan border is three kilometres away from Gurdaspur in Punjab. Once opened, this corridor will allow Sikh pilgrims direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev passed away in 1539.
Sunday's meeting also reviewed the progress reached in the three rounds of a technical meeting held in March, April and May 2019. The two sides endorsed the crossing point or the 'zero point' coordinates that were agreed to at the technical level.
During the meeting, Pakistan agreed in-principle to India's demand for the construction of a bridge on the zero line of the Kartarpur corridor to tackle the threat of the possible flooding of Dera Baba Nanak.
While India has already been building a bridge on its side to provide all-weather connectivity for the corridor, it has urged Pakistan to build a similar bridge on their side as it would provide safe and secure movement of the pilgrims while also addressing concerns over flooding of Dera Baba Nanak.
During the talks, the Indian side shared concerns over individuals or organisations "based in Pakistan who may try to disrupt the pilgrimage and misuse the opportunity to play with the sentiments of the pilgrims," according to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).
A dossier was also handed over to Pakistani officials over the matter.
India noted that significant progress has been made to build a state of art infrastructure, including passenger terminal on the Indian side that can handle over 15,000 pilgrims in a day.
This is targeted to be completed by October 31, 2019, the Ministry said in the statement.
The work on the four-lane highway to the crossing point at the International Boundary is progressing satisfactorily and is on schedule. It will be completed by end September 2019, it added.
"The technical teams would meet again to ensure seamless connectivity for the Kartarpur corridor is operational in time so that the pilgrimage can begin in November 2019," the statement further said. (ANI)