New Delhi: India accepted Pakistan’s proposal to travel for a meeting in New Delhi on the Kartarpur corridor issue, breaking the impasse of the last two weeks over scheduling the first bilateral discussion on the modalities to launch the cross-border pilgrimage.
Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal tweeted on February 7 that Islamabad had proposed that a Pakistani delegation travel to India on March 13, followed by a reciprocal visit by the Indian delegation on March 28.
In a spirit of constructive engagement #Pakistan has proposed to India that the Pakistan delegation may visit #India on 13 March followed by the return visit of the Indian delegation to Pakistan on 28 March to finalise the draft agreement for the #kartarpur corridor (1/2)
— Dr Mohammad Faisal (@ForeignOfficePk) February 7, 2019
In less than an hour, India’s external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the Pakistani delegation was welcome to visit to India on March 13. “Follow up meeting can be held in Pakistan, as required,” he said.
We welcome the visit of #Pakistan team to discuss and finalise modalities for facilitating visit of pilgrims through #Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on 13 March 2019 to India. Follow up meeting can be held in Pakistan, as required. 1/2
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) February 7, 2019
India has also asked Pakistan to hold “technical level discussions between engineers on both sides without waiting for discussion on the modalities”.
“We hope Pakistan would positively respond & confirm coordinates of crossing point as well,” he said.
India and Pakistan had last year agreed to start work on the Kartarpur corridor which would link two holy sites of the founder of Sikhism. This is the flagship project which will be launched on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak this year.
On January 21, Pakistan had asked India to urgently send a team to discuss the modalities and finalise the agreement. A day later, India publicly offered two set of dates for a Pakistani delegation to travel across the border. Pakistan responded by describing it as a “typical example of the childish behaviour of this Indian Government”.