Kartarpur corridor: Pakistan receives ministers, pilgrims

Kartarpur corridor: Pakistan receives ministers, pilgrims

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said said that the initiative of Prime Minister Imran Khan was widely appreciated, including by people in India. He compared the situation to that of France and Germany - they fought many wars and there was a lot of bloodshed but their leaders chose to move forward.

In a sharp contrast, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who jointly inaugurated the Kartarpur Corridor with Naidu, raised the issue of terrorism - allegedly sponsored by Pakistan - and warned Islamabad to "rein in" its army, adding that the Indian army was "fully prepared". "Friendship is the alternative", Khan said. He said if India takes one step forward, Pakistan will take two steps.

Last week, Pakistan and India announced that they would develop the corridor on their respective side of the border to help Indian pilgrims visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.

Khan also said the two countries should forget the past and move forward.

"Terrorist groups working at the behest of the ISI-backed KLF (Khalistan Liberation Force) and other groups based in Pakistan are clearly working on a conspiracy to destabilize Punjab", Singh had said at the time.

"If India takes one step forward, we will take two steps forward in friendship", he reiterated.

The road link, dubbed the "corridor of peace" in local media, is the latest attempt to improve cultural ties between the two countries who have harbored resentment for decades, after the bloody riots which followed the creation of the modern states of India and Pakistan following the departure of the British colonial government in 1947.

Sharing her experience about the visit, Ms Badal said, "Politics must be left aside on Kartarpur issue".

India reacted sharply on Wednesday to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's reference to Kashmir at the Kartarpur Corridor function saying it was "unwarranted" and that he chose to politicise the pious occasion.

Pushing his call for peace between the nations, Khan cited the example of France and Germany France and Germany, which were on opposite sides of the battleground during the Second World War. Ever since, it's been a major bone of contention in any move to talk peace between the two neighbors. He said the corridor will facilitate the Sikh pilgrims to visit their holiest sites in Pakistan.

He said the construction of the corridor will stand completed before the next birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in November.

Imran Khan said that there have been mistakes on both sides, but it would not be wise to keep playing this blame-game.

He said Sidhu has such a large fan following in Pakistan, specially in the country's Punjab province, that if he ran in elections here, he would win.

Sidhu said that both the nations should seek a path of brotherhood and live in harmony without any fear with the blessing of Guru Nanak Dev.

India had proposed the corridor to Pakistan around 20 years back.

A Pakistan minister said that if the country gets more hugs from Sidhu, many problems will be solved. Following their biometric identification and security clearance, they will freely perform their religious rituals in Gurdwara Darbar Sahib and return to their country after the biometric screening.

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