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October 24, 2019

Pakistan, India sign accord on Kartarpur Corridor today

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October 24, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Signing of a bilateral agreement between Pakistan and India on the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor today (Thursday) will be indeed a rare opportunity, as it has been quite sometime that a bilateral agreement has been signed by the two neighbours.

Of special significance is the fact that a bilateral treaty is being signed when bilateral relations are at an all-time low and no high-level meetings between the two sides have been held.

While there have been several agreements between the two sides, very few have been signed by them. In 1974, a Bilateral Agreement on Protocol on Visits to Religious Shrines was signed.

“As of now, Pakistan and India would sign the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor tomorrow (Thursday). We are fully ready to operationalise the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on our side. We will also share clause by clause details after signing of the agreement,” spokesman at the Foreign Office told the weekly media briefing.

Yatris will be permitted to visit the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib from morning till evening. Specific details about the timings etc. would be released after signing of the agreement.

“Currently, we are in the process of devising a mechanism to charge $20 per visitor per visit, as service charges. Media will be at the Zero Point to cover the event. Further details will be released soon,” he added.

Pakistan says it is still working on the invitations for the inauguration of Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, though one was sent to former Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh who hails from a village Gah in Indian Punjab.

To a query on Pakistan’s participation in the four-party talks in Moscow, the spokesman responded that Pakistan has been a part of all efforts and processes to discuss and facilitate peace and reconciliation efforts in Afghanistan.

“Pakistan’s role is particularly noteworthy in crystalizing international convergence for a peaceful solution in Afghanistan. Pakistan had participated in the first round of four-party talks in Beijing, in July this year. The next round is being held in Moscow at an opportune moment, as it would provide an important opportunity to review the currently stalled peace process. Pakistan side will be represented by additional secretary (Afghanistan and West Asia) in the meeting,” he added.

Pakistan says it will continue its effort through wholehearted support as its part of shared responsibility for making the international peace effort successful in Afghanistan.

As the Indian forces continue to fire across the LoC on civilian population in Azad Kashmir, the spokesman said that Pakistan wants that Indian diplomats come and visit the area.

“We wanted that India should have visited the area, which their army chief alleged, so that this tendency of allegations could be stopped. The real issue is to resolve the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, as per the resolutions of UNSC and the will of the Kashmiri people. Until and unless this issue is resolved, the peace and stability in South Asia will remain elusive,” he pointed out.

“We are proud of our Malaysian brothers and sisters. We, and the Kashmiris, appreciate Malaysian prime minister’s position on Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” the spokesman said as the Malaysian prime minister refused to retract his position on the clampdown in IOK and India threatened to stop import of palm oil from Malaysia.

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