News Desk |
The US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus has said that it was “incredibly supportive” of anything that increases “people-to-people ties between India and Pakistan”.
During a press briefing, Ortagus was asked to comment on the Kartarpur Corridor: “Yeah, that was certainly a good news report, wasn’t it? We encourage it,” she said. “Anything that increases people-to-people ties between India and Pakistan is something that we’re incredibly supportive of,” she added.
Ortagus’ comments follow the latest talks between the two sides — which took place on July 14 — on the opening of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims.
The second round of talks between Pakistan and India officials on the Kartarpur Corridor initiative held at Wagah border and ended on a positive note.
Pakistan and India have agreed on 80% of Kartarpur modalities and only 20% of plans are left to be agreed between the two countries. Over security concerns, Pakistan has assured the other side that all measures would be taken to ensure the security of the pilgrims.
Pakistan, India Settle 80% Issues of Kartarpur Corridor
On June 14, Pakistan and India agreed upon the major modalities to finalize the draft agreement for the Kartarpur Corridor – a step that will ensure that the corridor is operational in November 2019, given the historic importance of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
On Sunday, the second round of talks between Pakistan and India officials on the Kartarpur Corridor initiative held at Wagah border and ended on a positive note.
The Pakistani delegation was headed by Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal, who is also the Director General for South Asia and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, while New Delhi’s delegation was headed by Indian Foreign Affairs Joint Secretary Anil Malik.
Read more: Kartarpur Corridor: A new hope for peace
“The two countries have reached a consensus on 80% [of the issues] and beyond. The rest of the issues shall be addressed in the upcoming talks,” the spokesperson said at a news briefing after the talks. Dr Faisal told reporters that the further details would be provided after a final agreement was reached.
Visa-free Travel for Indian Passport Holders OCI Cardholders
Reportedly, an English daily said, Islamabad has agreed to New Delhi delegation’s request to allow visa-free travel for Indian passport holders and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cardholders every day. The paper added that Pakistan has also given the nod to permitting 5,000 pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurudwara each day and they will be allowed to travel as individuals or in groups on foot.
The Pakistan officials highlighted the infrastructural constraints in the area and told the other side that many of the Indian proposals could be accommodated in phases.
Both sides have agreed to maintain a channel of communication and work towards finalization of the agreement. The technical teams will meet again to ensure seamless connectivity for the corridor is operational in time so that the pilgrimage can begin in November this year.