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Thursday 20 February 2020

Kartarpur corridor: Meeting begins between India, Pakistan

The Kartarpur Zero point is the point at which the Indian side of the corridor and the Pakistani side of the corridor will be converging

Gurdaspur: India and Pakistan held a technical meeting at the Zero Point on Friday on the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor, amid fresh tensions between the two countries after Jammu and Kashmir’s special status was scrapped.

The meeting comprised of a group of 15 officials from each side, officials said. The Kartarpur Zero point is the point at which the Indian side of the corridor and the Pakistani side of the corridor will be converging. The corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.

This is the first meeting that is being held after India had on 5 August revoked Article 370 of the Constitution, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated the State into Union Territories. Pakistan and India are still discussing the modalities regarding the opening of the corridor at Narowal, some 125-km from Lahore, on the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak in November.

Over the past few months, many rounds of meetings have been held on the Kartarpur corridor during which the experts from the two sides have discussed its alignment, coordinates and other engineering aspects of the proposed crossing points. In July, delegations of the two countries had held a meeting on the Pakistani side of the Attari-Wagah border to discuss the modalities of the Kartarpur corridor.

The corridor will also be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since their independence in 1947. Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India.

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