Home South Asia Pakistan Indian delaying tactics likely to delay Kartarpur Corridor construction

Indian delaying tactics likely to delay Kartarpur Corridor construction

Sources familiar with developments said that Pakistan has completed about 60 percent construction of the project but the corridor is unlikely to be completed on time on the Indian side because of the internal strife and politics of India.

Corridor

News Desk |

Pakistan intends to open up the Kartarpur Corridor before the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak Dev this November but the work on the Indian side is being carried out at a snail’s pace.

Sources familiar with developments said that Pakistan has completed about 60 percent construction of the project but the corridor is unlikely to be completed on time on the Indian side because of the internal strife and politics of India.

PM’s special assistant Bukhari has scored a huge win for Pakistan’s tourism industry as Pakistan is preparing for massive Sikh tourism in line with Baba Nanak’s birth anniversary.

The media reported that Pakistan is making serious progress in the development of the corridor but the two sides have not been able to chalk out a joint strategy because of the delaying tactics on part of the Indian government. However, the reports added, there are chances that the corridor may see a ceremonial opening by November this year.

Meanwhile, the Sikh community all over the world has expressed concerns over India’s slow pace and delaying the construction of the Kartarpur Corridor.

Read more: Pakistan to complete Kartarpur Corridor before Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary: Bakhtiar

Pakistan allocates Rs1 billion for Kartarpur Corridor project

In the budget for the new fiscal year, Pakistan has proposed an allocation of Rs1 billion for the construction of the corridor. The overall cost of the project remains in excess of Rs12 billion.

Recently, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiar said that the government was committed to complete Kartarpur Corridor on time as it will provide easy access to Sikh devotees besides promoting religious tourism.

The Sikh community all over the world has expressed concerns over India’s slow pace and delaying the construction of the Kartarpur Corridor.

The minister said that Pakistan’s gesture reflects its resolve to promote peace in the region and maintain cordial relations with all neighbors, including India. He underscored that the corridor will be developed within the stipulated time so that the Sikh devotees are able to perform their religious rituals on the upcoming birthday celebrations of Baba Nanak.

Moreover, the DG Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has said that technical details and designs were shared with the Indian side and the work was in full swing on the Pakistani side. DG FWO said that all cultural, religious and social issues have been taken care of while developing the corridor, adding that corridor will include the construction of border terminal buildings, Langar Khana, Gurdwara complex and a bridge.

On November 28, 2018, Prime Minister Imran Khan had performed the groundbreaking of the project, saying the corridor would be opened in November 2019.

Read more: Technical meeting on Kartarpur Corridor: India and Pakistan move towards peace?

UK Sikhs to invest £500m for religious tourism in Pakistan

Recently, the Sikh community in London committed the investment of up to £500M (635 Million USD/96.5 Billion Rupees) for the Kartarpur corridor in Pakistan in a meeting with Sayed Zulfiqar Bukhari, chairman of Pakistan Tourism Board and PM’s special assistant on overseas Pakistanis and human resource development.

The minister said that Pakistan’s gesture reflects its resolve to promote peace in the region and maintain cordial relations with all neighbors, including India.

PM’s special assistant Bukhari has scored a huge win for Pakistan’s tourism industry as Pakistan is preparing for massive Sikh tourism in line with Baba Nanak’s birth anniversary.

Bukhari, who was given the additional charge of promoting tourism in Pakistan earlier this year, has briefed the UK Sikh Foundation, heads of different Gurdwaras & business tycoons from across the UK about PM Khan’s desire to promote religious tourism and develop Sikh Gurdwaras and other religious sites.

Read more: Kartarpur Corridor: Pakistan completes 50% construction work

Pakistan prepares for massive Sikh Tourism in November 2019

The initiative alone would benefit tens of thousands of Sikh pilgrims every year and promote interfaith harmony. The plan is also inclusive of visa facilitation, online visas, visas on arrival, the establishment of tourism desks in Pakistani embassies and dedicated staff to staff to facilitate visas for those taking part in Yatras in Pakistan this year.

UK about PM Khan’s desire to promote religious tourism and develop Sikh Gurdwaras and other religious sites.

Pakistan planned to develop the religious sites but due to the recent economic situation was unable to carry on the projects at the desired pace considering the fact that the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Sahib falls in November 2019.

Following the meeting with Bukhari, the UK Sikh community thanked PM Khan and Bukhari for taking the step, saying they will set up a fund of £500M this year to invest in the development of religious tourism in Pakistan focusing on development and upkeep of their religious sites.

The participants also made a specific commitment to connectivity whereby high-standard free buses would connect all the main Gurdwaras in Pakistan.

Read more: Kartarpur Corridor: Indian nation praises PM Khan

Indian intelligence groups on alert

Meanwhile, as the news of setting up the fund for promoting religious tourism in Pakistan emerged, the Indian media reported that India is keenly watching the developments amid concerns of money landing in ‘wrong’ hands.

Indian security agencies are on tenterhooks on developments regarding the project and people or organizations taking part in it, the media reported, adding that no group or foundation outside the country has so far offered such investment in the project in the Indian territory.

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