Talks between Pakistan, India on Kartarpur corridor held in positive environment: FO spokesperson – Pakistan

Foreign Ministry spokesman Dr. Mohammad Faisal said that the atmosphere of the third round of talks in the Katarpur corridor held between Pakistan and India on Wednesday was positive, despite the prevailing tensions between the two countries over the situation in occupied Kashmir.

Speaking to the media after the conclusion of the discussion in Attari, India, Dr. Faisal said: "This was a meeting centered on Kartarpur."

The FO spokesman said Pakistan had completed 90 percent of the work on the Kartarpur corridor, adding that he was confident that they were "approaching" the opening of the corridor in November. Pakistan Radio reported.

He said that with the exception of two or three points, India and Pakistan had almost agreed on a draft agreement for the operationalization of the corridor, according to the report.

In response to a question, Dr. Faisal said he hoped the problems related to the corridor could be resolved. "We have shown a lot of flexibility. We hope that if some flexibility comes from India, the work will be done."

He said that India was responsible for doing its part of the work with respect to the initiative, and that the work on the side of Pakistan was almost complete.

The FO spokesman revealed that Pakistan planned to organize a media visit to the area this month so they could see the roads, entry points and other progress that has been made.

In addition, he said that Islamabad had invited the Indian side to a final meeting on the Pakistani side of the border to resolve the remaining conflict points.

In a post shared on Twitter on Tuesday, the FO spokesman said he had arrived in Lahore for the third round of talks that would be held in Atari to "discuss and finalize the draft agreement on [the] opening of the Kartarpur corridor ".

"Pakistan remains committed to [the] accelerated opening of the corridor, "he added.

Today's meeting comes days after Pakistani and Indian delegations held a round of technical-level talks on the border corridor, more commonly known as the "Zero Point."

After the conclusion of the second round of talks in July, Pakistan had claimed that it had advanced on issues of "80 percent and more" regarding the opening of the corridor.

Kartarpur corridor

The Kartarpur Corridor, a peace initiative of the Pakistani government, is being built to commemorate the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak. The corridor will provide access without Indian Sikhs visa to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan.

To determine the modalities for the opening of the corridor, a Pakistani delegation visited Attari, where a meeting was held with Indian officials on March 14. While the next round of talks was scheduled for April 2 in Wagah, India withdrew due to reservations that Pro-Khalistan activists such as Gopal Chawla and Bisan Singh had been included in the Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee of Pakistan, an agency that works for facilitate Sikh pilgrims.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of India on that occasion had stated: "The next meeting on modalities can be scheduled at the appropriate time after receiving the response from Pakistan." The FO in Pakistan lamented the Indian decision to cancel the meeting.

The much delayed second round of talks was subsequently held on July 14.

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1503479/talks-between-pakistan-india-on-kartarpur-corridor-held-in-positive-environment-fo-spokesperson

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