New Delhi, August 23: Pakistan continued to drag its feet for the fourth round of Kartarpur technical meet requested by India in early August. India had sent a reminder again this week, requesting Pakistan to hold the technical meet. India had requested in early August to Pakistan to hold another round of India Pakistan technical meet on Kartarpur corridor but got no response.
The development comes despite Islamabad’s public statements that it is committed to the initiative in the backdrop of it cutting diplomatic and trade ties with India due to New Delhi removing a special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. “Kartarpur initiative will continue,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said.
On the agenda will be three things–till the time bridge on Ravi river is not constructed, Pakistan should build a service road, and provision to help pilgrims if an emergency arises and mechanism to share details of pilgrims.
If the meet materialises, this will be the fourth round of technical talks between the two countries in 2019. So far three rounds of India-Pakistan technical meetings have taken place in March, April and May 2019 during which both sides endorsed the crossing point coordinates.
When the second round of talks between Indian and Pakistan officials took place on July 14, Islamabad agreed to construct a bridge over the old Ravi creek that will allow all-weather pilgrimage to the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, throughout the year.
Both sides are keen to open the corridor, which was agreed by both sides in 2018, ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji in November 2019.