Kartarpur Corridor: Pakistan agrees to build bridge, allow visa-free travel to Indian pilgrims
Punjab : In a big win for India, Pakistan has agreed to build a bridge to facilitate the movement of pilgrims along the Kartarpur corridor, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement Sunday.
Officials from India and Pakistan met at the Wagah to iron out the modalities of connectivity, the safety of pilgrims and infrastructural needs.
Till the bridge is constructed, India offered to make interim arrangements for making the corridor operational in November 2019, to mark the birth anniversary of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
Agreeing to India's demand of allowing around 5,000 pilgrims every day, Pakistan has also decided to visa-free travel for Indian passport holders. The Indian side also requested Pakistan to allow OCI cardholders visa-free movement along the corridor as well. New Delhi has also requested Pakistan to allow 10,000 Indian pilgrims to visit Pakistan under the 1974 Protocol.
"Pakistan side assured our delegation that no anti-India activity would be allowed," the MEA statement said.
A delegation of 20 Pakistani officials led by Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal arrived at 9.15 am at the border to take part in the meeting. The Indian team comprised of SCL Das, Joint Secretary (Internal Security) and Deepak Mittal, Joint Secretary (PAI–Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran) in Ministry of External Affairs.
Today’s meeting comes amid differences between the two sides over a range of issues, including a bridge at Zero Line on the Indo-Pak border at Dera Baba Nanak.