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India seeks Kartarpur talks from July 11 to 14

Grand plan: The design of the proposed passenger terminal building for the Kartarpur project.

Grand plan: The design of the proposed passenger terminal building for the Kartarpur project.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Meeting to discuss draft agreement

After weeks of an impasse on the Kartarpur corridor, the government has written to Pakistan, proposing the next round of talks to be held from July 11 to 14 on the Pakistani side of the Attari-Wagah border.

“The meeting would discuss the draft agreement on the modalities for movement of pilgrims along the Kartarpur corridor and resolve outstanding technical issues related to alignment and infrastructure along the corridor,” an official source said.

The government’s decision to propose the fourth round of talks came a week after the External Affairs Ministry said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote to his Pakistan counterpart Imran Khan. Mr. Modi wrote that India was keen on seeing the corridor completed in time for the 550th birth anniversary of Sikh founder Guru Nanak in November.

“We will continue to work for early operationalisation of the Kartarpur Corridor and keeping it functional all year round,” Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on June 20. However, talks had been put off as India had sought “clarifications” on several issues including whether to build a bridge or a causeway over the Ravi, proposed caps on pilgrim numbers, and the presence of Khalistani separatists in key posts of the gurdwara committee in Pakistan. Asked if the new Indian proposal for dates meant that the issues had now been resolved, a source said that the move “shows India’s commitment to the corridor”.

“India has also asked Pakistan to increase the number of pilgrims under the 1974 bilateral Protocol who visit annually various religious shrines in Pakistan on the occasion of Guru Nanak Dev Jayanti, to 10,000 this year,” the source said.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 7:02:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-seeks-kartarpur-talks-from-july-11-to-14/article28230877.ece

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