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India


Pak 'insincere' on Kartarpur, offers only 700 pilgrims per day: 'Land Encroachment'

New Delhi, Mar 15 (UNI) Pakistan is being insincere on the Kartarpur Corridor and among other things what have come to light is that authorities in Islamabad are agreeing to allow only 700 pilgrims per day as against 5000 proposed by India.
According to official sources here,“Pakistan has lived up to its old reputation of making false promises, tall claims and delivering nothing".
There are issues of usurping of land belonging to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in the name of developing a corridor and also that there is a 'sea of difference' between what the official Pakistani delegation offered at Attari and what Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan had himself 'announced' earlier.
The Indian delegation led by a senior Home Ministry official during the talks at Attari did strongly protest against the “rampant encroachment” on the lands belonging to the holy Sikh shrine in utter disregard to the sentiments of devotees.
Sources said while India has started executing a state-of-the-art passenger terminal building for visit of over 5,000 pilgrims daily and over 15,000 pilgrims on special occasions like Vaisakhi that falls in mid-April, Pakistan - to utter surprise of many - has limited it to mere 700 pilgrims per day.
There were other issues as well, while India sought for opening the corridor on all seven days for pilgrims' visits, on its part Pakistan has 'restricted' the visits to specific days (and not throughout the week).
Pakistan also did not agree on devotees’ travel as individuals on foot and insisted on their movement in a group of at least 15 on board a vehicle, sources said.
India and Pakistan last year agreed to open a special border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.
During Attari talks on Thursday India pressed for visa-free travel for Kartarpur pilgrims.
''This corridor should be absolutely visa-free. There should not be any need for additional document and procedure so that the basic principle of smooth access of large number of pilgrims is allowed,''
SCL Das, Joint Secretary in the Home Ministry and leader of the Indian delegation has said.
The government views were conveyed to the 20-member Pakistani team during the first round of
talks on Kartarpur corridor at Attari.
The second meeting will be held on April 2 and prior to that technical experts will meet on
March 19 at the zero points.
Officials from Home Ministry, Ministry of External Affairs, Border Security Force, Defence, Punjab
government and customs attended the deliberations from the Indian side.
The Pakistan delegation was led by Mohammad Faisal, DG Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
UNI DEVN RSA 2307
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