Pakistan-India meeting on Kartarpur Corridor positive — FO spokesman

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Meeting between the delegations of Pakistan and India at Attari, Amritsar in India on Friday 14 March 2019. Both countries will discuss the modalities for the Kartarpur Corridor at Attari. (Courtesy: Dr. Mohammad Faisal's twitter)
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Pakistani delegation led by, Dr. Mohammad Faisal, Spokesperson Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the Wagha before the meeting with Indian officials at Attari, near Amritsar, on Thursday to finalise modalities of the corridor to the Kartapur. (Courtesy: Dr. Mohammad Faisal's twitter account)
Updated 14 March 2019

Pakistan-India meeting on Kartarpur Corridor positive — FO spokesman

  • Two countries issue joint statement after three years
  • Next round of talks to take place at Wagah on April 2

WAGAH/LAHORE: A meeting between Pakistan and India to discuss details of the Kartarpur Corridor project took place in a “conducive environment and remained positive” the Foreign Office spokesman said on Thursday.
Dr. Muhammad Faisal, who is also the Director General for South Asia and SAARC, led an 18-member delegation from Pakistan on Thursday morning to discuss the draft agreement with officials from across the border. S.C.L. Das, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs led the Indian delegation.
During the course of the meeting, officials from both sides discussed matters related to the project such as construction work and other technicalities.
A joint statement issued after the meeting said that the talks to discuss “the modalities and the draft agreement for the facilitation of pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib” were held “in a cordial environment.”
Before reading the joint communiqué signed by the two delegations at Attari — the Indian side of the border — Dr. Faisal described the meeting as “powerful.”
“It was a powerful meeting, and participants from the two sides (India and Pakistan) held positive talks and issued a joint statement. It is after a long time that the two nations have issued a joint statement as the last one was issued in 2016,” Dr. Faisal said.
He added that the next round of talks would take place in Wagah — the Pakistani side of the border — on April 2, prior to which the two sides would meet on March 19 to discuss the modalities of the projects.
When questioned whether there were any differences of opinion pertaining to the project, Dr. Faisal said: “There are differences on certain aspects but the details of those cannot be revealed at the moment.”
The project seeks to provide easy access to Sikhs from across the world, including India, by connecting the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in the Kartarpur area of Pakistan’s Narowal district with Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur District.

Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan peace process lauded globally – FM Qureshi

Updated 58 min 58 sec ago

Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan peace process lauded globally – FM Qureshi

  • Details difficulties faced by Islamabad on the negotiations’ table
  • Says ball is in Kabul’s court now to end decades-old conflict in the country

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday that the US and the international community had commended Pakistan for its role in the Afghan peace process.

“It was difficult to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table; and to convince the world that the problems plaguing Afghanistan could not be resolved by the use of force,” Qureshi said, according to a statement released by the Foreign Office (FO) Saturday.

He added that Pakistan had to strive hard to push for the resumption of peace talks after US President Donald Trump abruptly called off the negotiations, in September last year, following the death of an American soldier in a Taliban-induced attack in Afghanistan.

“It is heartening to see that the US and the Taliban were finally close to signing a peace deal on February 29 after a substantial reduction in violence,” he said.

Qureshi said that during Zalmay Khalilzad’s recent visit to Pakistan, he had warned the US’ special envoy for Afghanistan about elements in the country who were benefiting from the prolonged conflict in Kabul.

In a separate conversation with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, he had “emphasized on the need for the two countries to strengthen their relationship once again.”

Qureshi noted that ordinary Afghans were yearning for peace after nearly 19 years of war, adding that it was now up to the Afghan elite to work toward making that a reality.

“Either way, Pakistan has played its role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process and it was now up to the Afghans how they want to deal with the situation,” he said.