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India, Pakistan high-level talks on Kartarpur Corridor on Wednesday

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Islamabad, Sep 2, 2019-

Pakistan and India will hold the third round of high-level talks on the Kartarpur Corridor on Wednesday, with Foreign Office spokesperson and South Asia and SAARC Director General Muhammad Faisal leading the Pakistani side.

During the meeting, which will take place on the Indian side of the Wagah-Attari Border, the two countries are expected to finalise the draft agreement for opening of the corridor in November for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism.

The Pakistan Tribune, quoting diplomatic sources, said India has already responded to Pakistan’s offer in this regard.

Both countries have agreed that Pakistan would allow 5,000 Sikh visitors per day into the country through the Corridor. The pilgrims will be allowed to walk inside Pakistan, as individuals or in groups.

As per the sources, the two countries have agreed to 80 per cent of the draft agreement.

The first high-level meeting between Pakistan and India on the Kartarpur Corridor was held in March, followed by another round of talks at Wagah on the Pakistani side on July 14.

In addition to the high-level delegations this year, technical experts from the two sides have also held four meetings, the last of which was on Friday at Ground Zero in Kartarpur.

Ahead of the second high-level meeting on July 14, India had demanded removal of pro-Khalistani leader Gopal Singh Chawla from a panel linked to the Corridor.

Following the objection, the Pakistan government announced a new 10-member Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (PSGPC), minus Chawla.

The PSGPC will coordinate the activities of the Kartarpur corridor, including movement of Sikh pilgrims from India to Narowal in Pakistan, where the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib is located.

Located on the banks of river Ravi in Pakistan, the Kartarpur Gurdwara is about four kms from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district and about 120 km northeast of Lahore. Guru Nanak had lived there for 18 years until his death in 1539.

The corridor will allow pilgrims to travel from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur.  (Agency)

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