Kartarpur talks: Disagreements keep Indo-Pak from signing deal

India

04 Sep 2019

Kartarpur talks hit roadblock, India rejects two demands of Pakistan

While tensions between India and Pakistan are flaring high, the two neighboring countries sat on the table to talk about the Kartarpur corridor, for the third time.

On Wednesday, delegates of both countries discussed the technicalities on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border.

However, the agreement could not be signed as the Indian side rejected two demands of Pakistanis.

Here's what happened.

Gurudwara

Why is Kartarpur Gurudwara important for Sikhs?

Why is Kartarpur Gurudwara important for Sikhs?

The Kartarpur Gurudwara holds significance for Sikhs, as it is built on the site where Guru Nanak Dev died.

It is barely four kilometers away from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine and is visible from the Indian side.

Once the corridor is built, Indian Sikhs can easily visit the shrine. The construction was expected to be completed by November 2019, before his 550th birth anniversary.

Demands

Pakistan wanted to charge "service fee" from pilgrims, India refused

Reportedly, cash-strapped Pakistan insisted on charging a "service fee" from pilgrims.

Pakistan also showed reluctance in allowing the presence of Indian Consular or protocol officials at the Gurudwara premises.

Both these conditions were not acceptable to Indian officials, who asked the 20-member team from Pakistan to review their demands.

Before this meeting, technical experts from India and Pakistan met on August 30.

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Statement

Earlier, Pakistani officials hoped for constructive talks

Earlier, Pakistani officials hoped for constructive talks

Interestingly, before the meeting, the Pakistani side expressed optimism.

"We are hopeful to give a final shape to the draft agreement of Kartarpur corridor in today's talks with India. Some 90% work on the project has been completed and Pakistan is committed to opening the corridor in November," Mohammad Faisal, who led the Pakistani delegation, told media.

Nevertheless, the agreement remained unsigned.

Agreement

However, India and Pakistan agreed on visa-free travel

On the bright side, the meeting wasn't totally in vain as both India and Pakistan agreed on visa-free travel of Indian pilgrims.

Moreover, individuals of Indian-origin, who hold Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) card, can also visit the shrine.

"The agreement was reached at the third round of talks at Attari on modalities for operationalization of the Kartarpur Sahib corridor," an official said.

Details

It was decided that 5,000 pilgrims will visit shrine daily

It was decided that 5,000 pilgrims will visit shrine daily

The delegates also decided that 5,000 pilgrims can visit the holy site every day. Further, more than 5,000 pilgrims can visit on special occasions, depending on the capacity extension by the Pakistani side.

Both countries also agreed to construct a bridge at Budhi Ravi Channel.

Most importantly, both sides underscored the importance of maintaining a "secular" environment for the safe passage of pilgrims.

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Most asked questions

Where is Kartarpur Gurudwara located?

Why is Kartarpur Gurudwara important for Sikhs?

Where did the meeting happen?

Who led the Pakistani delegation?

More questions

Where is Kartarpur Gurudwara located?

Asked 2019-09-04 19:26:40 by Shaurya Balasubramanium

Answered by NewsBytes

Kartarpur Gurudwara is located in Pakistan's Narowal district, about four kilometers away from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.

Why is Kartarpur Gurudwara important for Sikhs?

Asked 2019-09-04 19:26:40 by Aradhya Subramanium

Answered by NewsBytes

Kartarpur Gurudwara is built on the site where Guru Nanak Dev breathed his last, hence, it is important for Sikhs.

Where did the meeting happen?

Asked 2019-09-04 19:26:40 by Parakram Gupta

Answered by NewsBytes

The Indian and Pakistani officials met on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border.

Who led the Pakistani delegation?

Asked 2019-09-04 19:26:40 by Sanvi Trivedi

Answered by NewsBytes

Mohammad Faisal led the Pakistani delegation.

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