As officials from India and Pakistan held discussions on the Kartarpur corridor on Thursday, India found that the neighbouring country has a very “narrow” and “limited focus” on the project contrary to perception that Islamabad has a very generous approach towards it, official sources reported.
As reported by The Indian Express, key differences on major aspects emerged between the two countries — from who should be allowed access to when and how, both sides had divergent views at the meeting to discuss modalities for pilgrims to pay obeisance at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan through the proposed Kartarpur Sahib corridor.
While India wants 5,000 pilgrims to visit in a single day, Pakistan wants only 500 to 700 pilgrims daily, citing logistical constraints. New Delhi has asked for opening of the corridor on all seven days but Islamabad has proposed that it should be open only on designated days.
The corridor will enable pilgrims from India to travel to the Sikh shrine inside Pakistan through a dedicated pathway which will link Gurudwara Darbar Sahib with Gurdaspur district in Punjab.
As India seeks for a “visa-free access”, Pakistan has said that there should be special permits with a fee. India has asked that the corridor be opened to Indian nationals as well as those foreign nationals who have Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) cards but Pakistan has clearly stated that it will allow only resident Indian nationals.
According to reports both sides will meet again on April 2 at Wagah on the Pakistani side. Moreover, on March 19, a group of technical experts from both sides will be holding a meeting at zero line to finalise the alignment of the corridor approaching from Indian and Pakistani side.