Border Security Force Director General R K Mishra Friday said the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor between India and Pakistan will not pose a challenge for border security. He iterated it was not difficult to handle security along the International Border as several people already cross over to Pakistan through Wagah-Attari.
“Opening of Kartarpur corridor not a challenge for border security,” Mishra said. “More people go across Wagah border. Not such a difficult thing to handle.”
He added, “We have given a befitting reply to Pakistan for the death of our soldier in September. It is difficult to quantify the damage across the border.”
The foundation stones for the development of the Kartarpur corridor on either side of the border were laid by India and Pakistan this week. The four-kilometre corridor will facilitate the passage of pilgrims to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan. It is said to be the place where Guru Nanak spent his final days and breathed his last.
Mishra’s comments come days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said the opening of the corridor does not mean New Delhi will participate in talks with Islamabad, “until and unless” Pakistan stops sponsoring terror. She had added that India will not attend the SAARC Summit in Pakistan.
Swaraj said: “Bilateral dialogues and the Kartarpur corridor project are different things. I am happy that for the last 20 years, rather many years, the Government of India has been asking for the Kartarpur corridor and, for the first time, Pakistan has responded positively to this.”
“But, that doesn’t mean that the bilateral dialogue will start only on this. Bilateral talks always say that terror and talks cannot go together. The moment Pakistan stops all terrorist activities in India, the dialogue can start. But the dialogue is not connected to the Kartarpur project,” she added.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, meanwhile, said he, his government, the army and all political parties are “on the same page” to improve ties with India. “If India takes one step forward then we will take two steps forward toward friendship,” he added.