Pakistan has proposed a border crossing point, different to what India suggested for the Kartarpur corridor, the Ministry of External Affairs said Thursday and expressed the hope that an agreement will be reached on this after teams from both sides meet to discuss the issue.
A meeting on the Kartarpur corridor will take place on March 14, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. The meeting was to earlier take place on March 13.
Kumar said India has also proposed a technical level discussion of engineers, but Pakistan is yet to respond to it.
“They have suggested an alternative border crossing point. We had also proposed a technical level discussion at the level of engineers and this should not be held hostage to the main meeting that will take place on March 14,” Kumar said in response to a question during a media brieing.
“We still await response from the Pakistani side on this. We thought it would be in interest of early establishment of requisite infrastructure and finalisation of the alignment of the corridor,” he said.
Last month, India shared with Pakistan the coordinates of the crossing point of the proposed Kartarpur corridor which will link Baba Nanak village in Punjab to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal in Pakistan.
Pakistan had said it shared a draft agreement on the Kartarpur Corridor with India and invited New Delhi to urgently send a delegation to Islamabad to negotiate and finalise the proposal.
Both sides are yet to finalise the modalities of travel of the Indian pilgrims to the Gurudwara.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had on November 26 last year laid the foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor in Gurdaspur district.
Two days later, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone for the corridor at Narowal, 125 km from Lahore.
The decision to build the corridor — from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to the International Border — was taken by the Union Cabinet on November 22.
The corridor was a long-pending demand of the Sikh community. Pakistan has committed to open the corridor in November on the occasion of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.