Kartarpur corridor: Pakistan receives ministers, pilgrims

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The six-km Kartarpur corridor coming up between India and Pakistan should be seen in isolation, the Chief of the Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, said on Wednesday.

In his tweet, the Spokesperson of the Foreign Office Dr Muhammad Faisal said, "The world comes together for the #PakistanKartarpurSpirit - diplomats attending the groundbreaking ceremony".

He vowed to improve the facilities at the Kartarpur gurdwara.

The issue of Kartarpur Sahib came into focus after Sidhu visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of his cricketer-turned-politician friend Imran Khan as prime minister of that country.

The Indian delegation comprising Minister for Food Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister for Housing Hardeep S Puri and Sidhu reached Lahore through the Wagah Border crossing where they were received by officials of the Punjab Rangers.

The ground-breaking ceremony came on a days when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj declared that there will be no dialogue with Pakistan unless it desists from terrorist activities against India.

Khan laid the foundation stone for a corridor linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur - the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev - to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district to facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims.

Delivering a lecture on hybrid warfare at the Institute of Defence and Studies and Analyse, Gen. Rawat said that while India claimed the whole of Jammu and Kashmir, it should first control the situation on its side of Kashmir without losing sight of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). "Our children have stunted growth - both our countries need to move forward". "In opening the Kartarpur border, both governments have opened a new chapter in which many things previously impossible will be possible", said Sidhu. "If Germany and France can bury the past, then why can't we do the same", he added.

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He said the citizens of both countries want peace and it is just the leadership which needs to be on same page.

"Corridors and gates are for legal peaceful visitors". He said Kashmir issue can be solved if leadership on both sides of the border are strong.

Speaking at the event, PM Khan said the happiness he has seen on the Sikh attendees' faces was the same he could imagine seeing on Muslim people's faces if they were four kilometres from the Holy Kaaba and finally allowed to visit it.

According to an India Today report, intelligence sources said that Chawla was in contact with ISI and Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed to hatch a terror plot.

Imran said the reason he is seeking strong relations between the two countries is to eliminate poverty from the subcontinent.

He said the construction of the corridor will stand completed before the next birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in November.

Sikh pilgrims coming from other countries can land at Lahore and Sialkot global airports and reach to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib from the old route.