Despite tensions with India, Pakistan says on Friday it stands ready to open Kartarpur corridor.
Pakistan government said that it’ll welcome the Sikh pilgrims, who want to take part in the celebrations of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
Speaking to a delegation of civil society and parliamentarians of Afghanistan, which is currently visiting Pakistan for the ‘Track-II dialogue, Beyond Boundaries’, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the current tensions with India would not affect Islamabad’s relationship with Kabul.
Border (with Afghanistan) will neither close nor trade will stop, Mr Qureshi told delegation.
Qureshi said, “We have decided to go ahead with Kartarpur Corridor and welcome the Sikh pilgrims for Guru Nanak’s 550th anniversary.”
Responding to a question if escalation of tension with India can distract Pakistan, Qureshi said, “Pakistan is totally focused on the situation and its role in Afghanistan.”
“It (Kashmir situation) can be a huge distraction but we’re clear what we need to do in Afghanistan,” Qureshi added.
Mr Qureshi told the delegation that he had invited the Foreign Ministers of Afghanistan’s and China for a trilateral meeting.
What is Kartarpur Corridor?
Kartarpur corridor will connect Gurdwara Darbar Sahib (Pakistan’s Kartarpur), which was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev, with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district, India.
The corridor will facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who would be obtaining a permit to visit the Kartarpur Sahib.
To put in simple words, Pakistan is building a corridor to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib from the Indian border.
While the other part of the corridor will be constructed by India from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border.
Tensions between India-Pakistan
Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after India revoked Article 370 of the Indian Constitution on August 5.
Article 370 gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the state into two Union Territories – J&K and Ladakh.