Pak-India experts hold second round of talks on Kartarpur Corridor

In this file photo, Sikh Pilgrims sit in front of Kartarpur Gurdwara Sahib before the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur Corridor. (AFP)
Updated 16 April 2019
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Pak-India experts hold second round of talks on Kartarpur Corridor

  • Move to provide visa-free facility for Sikhs looking to visit their founder's shrine
  • Discuss fencing of corridor and construction of facilities related to the project

LAHORE: Representatives from Pakistan and India held a second round of talks in Lahore on Tuesday to discuss the way forward for the construction of the Kartarpur Corridor, an initiative which hopes to provide visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims from around the world.

Technical experts and foreign office officials from both sides participated in the meeting where they reviewed the progress made in the project and discussed matters related to the installation of a border fence, road design and construction of a bridge along the river Ravi.
The first round of talks was held on March 19 whereby it was decided that the two groups would meet again on April 2. However, India had decided to postpone the meeting on March 29.
Reacting to the change in plans, Foreign Office spokesperson Dr. Muhammad Faisal had said at the time: "Pakistan regrets the Indian decision to postpone the upcoming Kartarpur meeting, jointly agreed by both sides on 14 March 2019. The meeting was to discuss & find consensus on outstanding issues."
Once ready, the Kartarpur Corridor will connect the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur district with the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur area. It's a place which holds immense religious significance for Sikhs the world over as it was the final resting place of Sikhism's founder, Baba Guru Nanak who lived there for 18 years until his death in 1539. 
Pakistan is planning to inaugurate the Corridor in November this year on the occasion of Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary.
While Pakistan will build one half of the project – from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur – the other half will be undertaken by India from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in the Gurdaspur district all the way to the border.
On November 28 last year, Prime Minister Imran Khan had laid the foundation stone for the project during a groundbreaking ceremony which was attended by former Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, Indian Minister for Food Harsimrat Kaur Badal, and Indian Minister for Housing Hardeep S Puri.


Pakistani naval chief, UAE counterpart discuss maritime cooperation in Dubai

Updated 7 min 31 sec ago
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Pakistani naval chief, UAE counterpart discuss maritime cooperation in Dubai

  • Pakistan’s navy chief also met with the UAE army chief for talks
  • Admiral Abbasi will visit UAE Navy Units

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, held a meeting with the United Arab Emirates Navy chief and discussed cooperation in maritime affairs at Dubai Naval Headquarters on an official visit to the UAE, Pakistan Navy media wing said on Monday.
On Sunday, Admiral Abbasi held talks with UAE army chief and under-secretary of the defence ministry.
“On the second leg of visit he (Admiral Abbasi) will visit different units of UAE Navy,” Pakistan Navy said and added that the visit would “improve bilateral ties specially in the file of maritime affairs.”
Pakistan and UAE navies have maintained close relations over the decades and Pakistan Navy collaborates with its UAE counterparts on various professional issues including training exercises, provision of trained manpower and port visits by fleet units in line with their long-standing collaboration.
In February, a Pakistan Navy flotilla comprising navy ships TARIQ and HIMMAT visited Abu Dhabi to participate in a leading trade show, the International Defence Exhibition/ Naval Defence Exhibition.
In the same month, both navies conducted bilateral exercises aimed at enhancing interoperability between them.
“During two days exercise, a number of evolutions pertaining to Maritime Security Operations, Search and Rescue, maneuvering drills, Maritime Infrastructure Protection, Communication, and Warfare related exercise were undertaken,” Pakistan Navy had said after the joint exercise.