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India-Pakistan meeting to iron out modalities of Kartarpur corridor begins

The corridor will facilitate visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur

Press Trust of India  |  Attari 

Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur

A meeting between officials of and to finalise the modalities for setting up of a corridor linking the in Pakistani town of with district in commenced here Thursday, officials said.

The talks are being held at the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border, they said.

It is the first meeting between officials of and to discuss the corridor issue, amid heightened tensions between the two nations over the Pulwama terror attack, followed by India's pre-emptive air strike on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camps in Balakot and Pakistan's subsequent retaliation.

In the meeting, is likely to raise the issue of hassle-free access to the Indian pilgrims besides asking to insulate Sikh pilgrims visiting the shrine in from pro-Khalistan propaganda.

From the Indian side, officials comprised representatives from the Union Home Ministry, External Affairs Ministry, BSF, Highways Authority of and the government.

Last November, both India and Pakistan agreed to set up the corridor to link the historic -- the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Dev -- to Dera in

Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan's district across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera shrine.

The corridor will facilitate of Indian Sikh pilgrims to the in Kartarpur. Pakistan has committed to open the corridor in November this year on the occasion of the 550th of

India's M Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Minister had on November 26 last year laid the foundation stone of the in district.

Two days later, Pakistan's laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Narowal, 125 km from

The Punjab cabinet had passed a special resolution to set up a Dera Development Authority for the development and beautification of the area in and around Dera Baba Nanak.

A Kartarpur Gate has also been proposed to be set up on the Indian side of the International Border which would stand out as a monumental symbol to commemorate the 550th 'Prakash Purb' (birth anniversary) of Dev.

A proposed passenger terminal building (PTB) complex will have all the necessary amenities to facilitate pilgrims intending to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara.

First Published: Thu, March 14 2019. 12:30 IST