The first meeting of officials of Pakistan and India to finalise the modalities of the landmark Kartarpur Corridor, held in the shadow of escalating bilateral tensions, was “construcirve” and the discussions were held in a “cordial environment”, the Foreign Office said.
India and Pakistan last year agreed to open a special border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.
The meeting took place in Attari on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border, amidst heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following the Pulwama terror attack by a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed on February 14.
Commenting on the meeting, the head of the Pakistani delegation and the Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Dr Mohammad Faisal said the deliberations were constructive.
“Pakistan Kartarpur Delegation returns after constructive discussion in a cordial environment,” he tweeted.
“First #Pakistan-#India Joint Press Statement after a long time,” Faisal noted.
Both delegations held detailed and constructive discussions on various aspects and provisions of the proposed agreement and agreed to work towards expeditiously operationalising the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, the joint statement said.
Both sides also held expert level discussions between the technical experts on the alignment and other details of the proposed corridor.
It was agreed to hold the next meeting at Wagah on April 2. This will be preceded by a meeting of the technical experts on March 19 at the proposed zero points to finalise the alignment of the corridor, it said.
Last November, India and Pakistan agreed to set up the border crossing linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.
Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.