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Pak reluctance impedes agreement finalisation on Kartarpur

ANI | Updated: Sep 04, 2019 15:44 IST

Attari, (Punjab), [India], Sept 4 (ANI): The third round of talks between Indian and Pakistani officials over Kartarpur Corridor concluded on Wednesday without finalising an agreement owing to certain differences on a few issues, sources said.
Pakistan insisted on charging a service fee for allowing pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, which was not agreeable in spirit to the Indian side.
Sources also added that Pakistan showed its unwillingness to allow the presence of Indian Consular or Protocol officials at the Gurdwara premises. Pakistan side was urged to reconsider its position.
The Kartarpur corridor along the India-Pakistan border is nearly four kilometres away from Gurdaspur in Punjab, India. 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.
India and Pakistan have previously held two technical meetings to finalise the remaining modalities of the corridor.
During the second meeting, which took place on July 14, the two sides agreed to complete the construction of the 4.19 kilometres long four-lane highway connecting the zero point of the Kartarpur corridor to Gurdaspur-Amritsar Highway by September 30, while the Passenger Terminal Complex at Dera Baba Nanak will be completed by October 31, Ministry of Home Affairs had said in a statement.
In their third round, which was held at Attari in Amritsar, the two sides agreed on visa-free travel for the pilgrims. Also, persons of Indian origin holding Overseas Citizen Of India (OCI) card will be allowed to visit the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the Corridor.
Additionally, the two countries also agreed upon emergency evacuation procedures, especially medical emergencies. A direct line of communication between Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers will be used.
This is the second meeting on the matter of Kartarpur corridor after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status leading to fresh tensions between the two neighbours. (ANI)