ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India on Tuesday held a meeting to discuss technical aspects of the Kartarpur corridor project, thus concluding the first round of the talks.
The technical teams of both countries held discussions and would report to their respective governments. The second round of the meeting will begin on April 2.
“Designs of Kartarpur corridor, roads, and other technical affairs were discussed in the meeting which was attended by the engineers, NIH and other officials,” said reports.
During the last meeting at Attari, both sides had agreed to hold the next meeting at Wagah on April 2, 2019, which would be preceded by a meeting of technical experts on March 19, at proposed zero point to finalise the alignment of the corridor.
FO Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, who had led the Pakistani delegation, had said the decision to hold the meeting with the Indian side was in line with Pakistan’s sincere efforts to de-escalate the situation for regional peace and stability.
He had expressed hope that the initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan would not only facilitate Sikhs, especially from India, but in the current vitiated situation it could be a step forward in a right direction from conflict to cooperation, animosity to peace, and enmity to friendship.
The groundbreaking ceremony of the corridor in Pakistan was performed last year on Nov 28.
In January, Pakistan had shared its draft of Kartarpur Corridor Accord with India and invited its delegation for a visit for negotiating the document, which would govern operations of the corridor meant to provide visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims to the Gurdwara in Kartarpur Sahib (Narowal district).
The corridor is planned to be opened for Sikh pilgrims this year in commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.
Pakistan and India are going through a rough patch in their relationship after 44 Indian troops were killed in suicide bombing in Pulwama district of held-Kashmir.
Following the bombing, India launched airstrike inside Pakistani territory followed by Pakistani airstrike in occupied Kashmir, shooting down an Indian jet and capturing the pilot. Pakistan’s decision to release the pilot and international pressure eventually led to a de-escalation.