Despite Kashmir Tensions, Pakistan To Uphold Kartarpur Corridor Agreement
There has been no change in Pakistan’s plan of opening the first visa-free border crossing with India to facilitate Sikh pilgrims despite recent aggression between the two arch-rivals.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal informed media that the meeting on the Kartarpur corridor would take place soon and that Pakistan desired to open the corridor in November on the 550th birth of Baba Gurunanak.
As part of Pakistan’s efforts to allow Sikh pilgrims from India to visit Gurunanak’s shrine, Prime Minister Imran Khan initiated work on the Kartarpur corridor last year.
The shrine is situated a few kilometres from the border and the corridor will potentially allow Sikhs to visit the shrine without a visa.
Since the Indian decision to revoke Kashmir’s special status, questions have been raised on whether this would hinder the opening of the corridor.
In response to Indian revocation of Article 370, Pakistan had suspended bilateral trade and downgraded diplomatic ties. However, Pakistan is still aiming to stick with the Kartarpur plan. However, it remains to be known whether India would maintain its commitment to the project.
Even though tensions have increased between the two neighbours, Islamabad’s decision to uphold the agreement on the Kartarpur corridor to maintain inter-faith harmony is a politically mature move.