- Pakistan said both nations will continue talks on the draft agreement.
- A delegation from Islamabad may visit New Delhi on March 14.
- The clarification comes amid India-Pakistan tensions over Pulwama attack.
Pakistan today said that talks on the Kartarpur Corridor will continue as planned, dispelling fears of the long-awaited project getting stalled amid tensions with India. According to a press release issued by the Imran Khan government, delegations from both countries will conduct consulations on a draft agreement for the corridor later this month.
The clarification comes a week after the Indian Air Force (IAF) targeted a terrorism camp in Pakistan's Balakot on February 26, spurring the neighbouring country to send F-16 fighters across the border the next day. Earlier today, the Navy dubbed a claim by Pakistan that it had stopped an Indian submarine from entering its territorial waters as "false propaganda".
The release issued by the Imran Khan government said that a delegation from Pakistan will visit New Delhi to discuss the draft agreement for the Kartarpur Corridor on March 14. Following this, a team from India will head to Islamabad on March 28, it added.
The announcement is likely to cheer many in the Sikh community who have been waiting decades for the two countries to arrive at an agreement on constructing a corridor between the Baba Nanak village in Punjab and the sacred Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Darowal. Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who had travelled to Pakistan for the project's foundation-laying ceremony, had expressed fears that the collaborative effort could be scuttled in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack. "Now, because of these three-four people (the terrorists), will we raise a question on the Kartarpur corridor? The nation cannot bow in front of terrorists," he had said last month.
According to news agency ANI, the draft agreement states that not more than 500 Sikh pilgrims will be allowed into the country per day through the Kartarpur Corridor. A database of the pilgrims -- along with their travel history -- will also be maintained, it quoted the Pakistan government as saying.
The corridor will give Sikh pilgrims direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak died in 1539.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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