South Asian Insider
India and Pakistan fail to finalise agreement on Kartarpur corridor
The understanding on the proposed movement of pilgrims was reached at the third round of talks between senior officials for finalising the modalities for operationalising the Kartarpur Corridor. (Press Release) Indian and Pakistani officials on Wednesday reached an understanding on the visa-free travel of 5,000 Indian pilgrims every day to Darbar Sahib gurdwara via the Kartarpur Corridor but were unable to finalise a draft agreement, people familiar with developments said. The agreement could not be finalised because of “certain differences on a few key issues”, said a person who declined to be named. Pakistan insisted on charging a service fee for pilgrims visiting the gurdwara in Kartarpur, which was not “agreeable in the spirit of smooth and easy access through the corridor”, the person said. The Pakistani side also showed unwillingness to allow the presence of Indian consular or protocol officials at the gurdwara and was urged to reconsider its position, the person added. The understanding on the proposed movement of pilgrims was reached at the third round of talks between senior officials for finalising the modalities for operationalising the Kartarpur Corridor. The meeting was held against the backdrop of heightened tensions between the two sides at Attari on the Indian side of the international border. “There was agreement on visa-free travel of Indian pilgrims, without any restrictions based on their faith. Persons of Indian origin holding OCI cards can also visit Darbar Sahib gurdwara using the corridor,” the person cited above said. A total of 5,000 pilgrims can visit the gurdwara in Pakistan using the corridor every day, and additional pilgrims, over and above this figure, can visit the shrine on special occasions provided there is capacity expansion by the Pakistani side, the people said. Pakistan also conveyed its “solemn commitment to increase this number to the maximum possible”, the people said without specifying the additional capacity. The corridor will be operational throughout the year, seven days a week, and pilgrims will have the choice to visit as individuals or in groups, and on foot, the people said. The two sides also agreed to build a bridge at Budhi Ravi Channel to facilitate the movement of people during the rainy season. Pending the construction of the bridge on the Pakistani side, both sides agreed on the crossing point coordinates of a temporary service road that is being built, the people said. The two sides also agreed on emergency evacuation procedures, especially for medical emergencies. A direct line of communication between India’s Border Security Force and the Pakistan Rangers will be used for such emergencies. A decision made at a meeting of technical experts on August 30 regarding sharing of details of pilgrims using the corridor was endorsed by both sides. They also agreed on ensuring a “safe and secure environment” for the movement of pilgrims. “Pakistan has been requested, once again, to allow protocol officers from India to accompany pilgrims every day for facilitating their visit,” the person cited above said. The Pakistani side further agreed to make sufficient provision for preparing and distributing ‘langar‘ and ‘prasad’ for pilgrims. The people said significant progress has been made to build state-of-the-art infrastructure, including a passenger terminal on the Indian side that can handle more than 15,000 pilgrims a day. This infrastructure is expected to be completed by October. Work on a four-lane highway up to the international border on the Indian side is on schedule and will be completed by the end of September. All facilities on Indian side will be ready for the pilgrimage through Kartarpur Corridor by the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, in November. Darbar Sahib gurdwara is built at the site where Guru Nanak spent the last years of his life.
ISRO inks MoUs with DRDO sign for Gaganyaan project
(News Agencies) The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Tuesday inked MoUs with the Defence Research and Development Org...
Govt trying to remove nationalist leaders: Rahul on Farooq Abdullah detention
(News Agencies) Rahul Gandhi added that the move will polarise the rest of India. In a sharp attack on the Centre’s Kashmir move,...
2019 shows why achieving 1.5 degree C, not 2 C, is must to fight climate change
The United Nations climate action summit in New York on September 23 provides a unique opportunity to global leaders to enhance th...
Don't take CBD products into the UAE, UK government warns travelers
(News Agencies) Your body lotion or e-cigarette could get you into serious trouble in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This was the...
Namaste... and sorry: Tulsi Gabbards message to PM Modi ahead of Houston event
(News Agencies) US congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard released a video message Thursday welcoming Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Uni...
Indian-Americans Urge US Congressman Ro Khanna To Leave Pakistan Caucus
(News Agencies) WASHINGTON: A record number of 230 Indian-American organisations in the United States have urged Democratic Congre...
Welcome to USA
(SAI Bureau) New York: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to travel to the United States this weekend for his first ...
Supreme Court’s 2018 verdict diluting Dalit atrocity law to be reviewed by 3-judge bench
(News Agencies) The Supreme Court on Friday referred its March 2018 verdict banning automatic arrests in Dalit atrocity cases to a...
The dangers in Delhi’s Kashmir plan
Haseeb A Drabu The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has convinced an overwhelming majority of Indians that it has reclaimed Kashmir. ...
India must preserve the values it’s known for
Sharat Sabharwal Pakistan’s use of certain statements made by our politicians on the abrogation of Jammu and Kashmir’s (J&K) spec...
© All rights Reserved. The south Asian, Published Weekly from New york.