–India offers to build 100m-long bridge from Dera Baba Nanak to facilitate Sikh pilgrims during monsoon season
LAHORE: India has offered to construct a 100-metre-long bridge from Dera Baba Nanak till the Pakistan-India international border in Kartarpur to facilitate Sikh pilgrims, as the second round of technical talks on Kartarpur corridor were held between Pakistani and Indian experts at the border on Tuesday.
The Pakistani delegation consisted of officials from the foreign and interior ministries along with senior officers of the Frontier Works Organisation and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).
According to reports, India made the offer because pilgrims find it difficult to travel during the monsoon season. Pakistani officials would send New Delhi’s offer to their respective departments for approval.
Meanwhile, experts from both the sides discussed the length of the corridor road in addition to the construction of roads and fencing. Matters pertaining to customs and immigration were also discussed in the meeting.
While over half of the construction work has been completed on the Pakistani side of the corridor, India has not yet begun with the construction work.
The talks were initially expected to be held on April 2 at the Wagah border. However, India had pulled out of the talks. The last-minute move by New Delhi prompted Islamabad to say that the historic initiative could be in danger.
India refused to send its team after raising concerns regarding composition of the committee announced by Pakistan to facilitate the Sikh pilgrims.
The shrine is visible from the Indian side of the border and every day a larger number of Sikh devotees gather to perform Darshan or sacred viewings of the site.
The corridor is planned to be opened for Sikh pilgrims this year in commemoration of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak.
The groundbreaking of the project on the Pakistani side was performed by Prime Minister Imran Khan at Kartarpur Sahib on November 28, 2018.