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Kartarpur Corridor: Pakistan completes 50% construction work


News Desk |

On Tuesday, Dr. Mohammad Faisal, official spokesperson of the Pakistan Foreign Office, informed that 50% work on the construction of the Kartarpur Corridor has been completed by Pakistan, and the terminals and roads required to make the Corridor functional are almost completed.

A report by The Nation stated that spokesperson further stated that there are several matters that need to be discussed with New Delhi regarding the construction of the bridge that would carry pilgrims over the river, along with other technical elements that are yet to be resolved. He added that India wants to ensure the movement of 5000 Sikh pilgrims in the Kartarpur Corridor on a daily basis, however, Pakistan is unsure if it will be able to effectively deal with the challenges of hosting such a large number of pilgrims.

India has also shared concerns and sought clarifications on reports that controversial elements have been appointed by Pakistan to a committee to be associated with the Kartarpur Corridor.

Dr. Mohammad Faisal also stated that Islamabad wants to ensure that the Sikh pilgrims are comfortable and facilitated with cars to ride up to the Gurdwara, while India wants the pilgrims to walk towards the religious monument. Earlier on Monday, Dr. Mohammad Faisal took to Twitter to announce the resumption of talks with New Delhi over the Kartarpur Corridor, a development that emerged after Pakistan had expressed its disappointment over India’s postponement of the technical meeting that was scheduled for 2nd April.

Dr. Faisal tweeted, “Continuing with Pakistan’s spirit of constructive engagement, we have agreed to the Indian proposal for a technical meeting on 16 April,” he said. “We expect positivity from India so that the corridor becomes reality for 550th (birth anniversary of Guru Nanak) celebrations.”

India’s “Flimsy” Dealings on Kartarpur Corridor

New Delhi had postponed the meeting citing its apprehensions over certain “controversial elements” that Pakistan had appointed to the Kartarpur Corridor, and had also sought clarification from Pakistan on India’s key proposals with regards to the modalities of the Corridor discussed in the meeting held at Attari.

Read more: Kartarpur corridor: India backs out of talks

The statement by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated, “India has sought clarifications from Pakistan on key proposals put forward by India at the last meeting held in Attari to discuss the modalities of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. India has also shared concerns and sought clarifications on reports that controversial elements have been appointed by Pakistan to a committee to be associated with the Kartarpur Corridor.”

Despite indicating in the MEA’s statement that India is committed to completing the infrastructural development of the Corridor in an “expeditious manner”, New Delhi postponed the meeting scheduled for 2nd April for mid-April.

He informed that instead of receiving the Pakistani delegation in New Delhi, India received them in Attari, and then, a scheduled meeting at Wahga on 2nd April was cancelled by India.

Pakistan issued a statement to exhibit disappointment over India’s decision of postponement, Dr. Faisal tweeted, and “Pakistan regrets the Indian decision to postpone the upcoming #Kartarpur meeting, jointly agreed by both sides on 14 March 2019. The meeting was to discuss & find consensus on outstanding issues.”

He further added, “Last minute postponement without seeking views from Pakistan and especially after the productive technical meeting on March 19 is incomprehensible.”

Earlier on Sunday, when Foreign Minister Qureshi addressed a press conference in Multan to highlight the lurking threat of another Indian attack, he also highlighted India’s “flimsy” dealings and lack of cooperation on the operationalization of the Kartarpur corridor, a project that Pakistan encouraged despite the ongoing tensions.

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

He informed that instead of receiving the Pakistani delegation in New Delhi, India received them in Attari, and then, a scheduled meeting at Wahga on 2nd April was cancelled by India. While referring to New Delhi’s apprehensions over “controversial elements”, he stated, “If they wanted some information they could have requested for such information in the meeting scheduled on 2nd April. Pakistan was willing to listen and satisfy their concerns.”

Mina Jahangir with additional input by News Desk.

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