- Captain Amarinder Singh said Kartarpur had nothing to do with Kashmir
- He said Pakistan downgrading ties with India was a "knee-jerk" reaction
- Pak Foreign Ministry said work on the Kartarpur corridor will continue
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh today urged both India and Pakistan to ensure that work on the Kartarpur corridor is not affected due to rising tension over Jammu and Kashmir. He also said Pakistan downgrading diplomatic ties with India was a "knee-jerk" reaction to India ending Jammu and Kashmir's special status and splitting it into two Union Territories.
"Kashmir is our internal matter & Pakistan's decision to downgrade diplomatic ties is a knee-jerk reaction. Both countries must take adequate steps to ensure progress of Kartarpur corridor isn't jeopardized in light of Pakistan government's decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with India," Mr Singh tweeted today.
Once built, the corridor will connect the Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims. The pilgrims will require just a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, an important Sikh shrine established in 1522 by the faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev.
"Kartarpur has nothing to do with Kashmir or any other issue of concern for the two countries," the Chief Minister said, according to news agency PTI.
Kashmir is our internal matter & Pakistan's decision to downgrade diplomatic ties is a knee-jerk reaction. Both countries must take adequate steps to ensure progress of #KartarpurCorridor isn't jeopardized in light of @pid_gov decision to downgrade diplomatic relations with India— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) August 8, 2019
The Pakistani Foreign Ministry said work on the Kartarpur corridor will continue, news agency ANI reported.
Pakistan last month had agreed in-principle to build a bridge on the zero line of the Kartarpur corridor to provide all-weather connectivity. The development came after a second round of talks over the corridor.
India is already constructing a bridge on the zero line; Pakistan, however, had been insisting on constructing a causeway, which India believes, would act as a barrier, directing more flood water towards India.
Both countries have agreed to allow visa-free travel for Indians and those who have Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) cards.
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