India and Pakistan will hold a new round of talks on 14 July on the opening of a corridor between the two countries that will allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit a shrine in Pakistan’s Narowal province.
On Tuesday, Pakistan conveyed its acceptance of an Indian proposal to hold a second round of talks on the opening of the corridor. The meeting is to take place at the Attari-Wagah land crossing between the two countries.
“Pakistan remains committed to expedited progress on the matter to ensure that the Corridor is operationalized in time for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak in November 2019," a statement from the Pakistan foreign office said.
India had on Sunday proposed a new set of dates for resuming talks stopped in April after New Delhi voiced concerns over the presence of supporters of the Sikh separatist Khalistan movement in a committee constituted by Pakistan to look into the arrangements for the corridor construction.
Though technical level talks i.e. on plans to construct the corridor have been taking place, there have been only one round of discussions on what papers the pilgrims will carry and how many will travel in a group.
The corridor is to be made in time to allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism. He is believed to have spent the last 18 years of his life in Kartarpur and died there. Kartarpur was the first gurdwara ever built.
The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has cleared the corridor in November after which the groundbreaking ceremony on the Indian side was done by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu while on the Pakistan's side it was done by Prime Minister Imran Khan.