Indian and Pakistani experts travelled to the border crossing in Punjab for the proposed Kartarpur Corridor on Tuesday, and discussed the coordinates for the “zero point” where Sikh pilgrims will cross over, officials in Delhi and Islamabad said. The two sides will meet next on April 2, to take forward plans to complete the corridor in time for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Guru Nanak.
“Both sides jointly surveyed the coordinates of the Zero Point and discussed the technical details , including Finished Road Level, High Flood level etc. The two sides agreed on some technical aspects/ details and expressed the hope to finalize the other modalities at the earliest,” a press release issued by the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said adding that the meeting had been held in a “positive and constructive environment.”
The MEA did not issue a statement. However sources said Pakistan had been delaying the meeting of technical experts, including engineers and surveyors, for more than a month, as it had insisted on a meeting on the draft agreement first. That meeting was finally held on March 14.
Work will now get underway on both sides where elaborate plans for immigration facilities, and infrastructure and security arrangements for pilgrims expected to cross over the border to visit the Kartarpur Sahib shrine where Guru Nanak had spent the last few years of his life.
While the technical details are in the process of being ironed out, both sides continue to have differences over the numbers of pilgrims that Pakistan wants to put a cap on, as well as documentation required for thousands who are expected to make the pilgrimage to Kartarpur from the Punjab border town of Dera Baba Nanak.