India disappointed by Pakistan’s shifting stance on Kartarpur corridor

India Open to Third Party Verification of Pakistani Action Against Terror Camps

While India sought for opening the corridor on all seven days for daily visits of pilgrims, Pakistan has restricted the visits to certain days.

Prime Minister Imran Khan's initial announcement on the Kartarpur corridor, which will connect Dera Baba Nanak in India with Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan, gave impression of a generous and open-ended offer, but Islamabad's focus during the discussions this week was narrow and with a limited focus, the people said.

Pakistan 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 at the MHA told The Indian Express.

Despite having assured visa-free access to the corridor, Pakistan through back door introduced the need for issue of a special permit for the pilgrims at an "outrageous" fee which defeats the goal.

Pakistan has restricted the corridor facility to only Indian Passport holders to the exclusion of large number of Overseas Citizens of India card holder devotees. "The government is India has made serious effort to fulfil the long pending aspiration of the pilgrims (by facilitating visit to the shrine) but Pakistan is trying to scuttle this move", alleged Malik, who is a Rajya Sabha MP.

Pakistan has so far resisted all attempts to include Kartarpur in the 1974 MoU, the official said.

A day after both the countries held delegation-level talks on the corridor to discuss modalities, government sources told news agency ANI on Friday that Pakistan has said the capping of Indian pilgrims visiting the shrine per day should be at 700.

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This comes amid escalating tension between the two countries following India's preemptive air strike on a terrorist training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and Pakistan's subsequent retaliation. A day later, Pakistan conducted retaliatory airstrikes in Kashmir.

The Indian delegation was led by SCL Das, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, and included senior officials from other departments.

The meeting was held at Attari in Gurdaspur district of Punjab on Thursday.

Both sides held detailed and constructive discussions on various aspects and provisions of the proposed agreement. This will be preceded by a meeting of the technical experts on 19 March at the proposed zero points to finalise the alignment.

However, India is committed to operationalising the project in time for the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikhism, in November. It is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the global border.

Two days later, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone at Narowal, 125 km from Lahore.

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