ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and India will hold another technical meeting to finalise the remaining modalities of Kartarpur corridor in the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border today (September 4).

In the second meeting, which took place on July 14, the two sides had agreed to complete the construction of the 4.19 kilometres long four-lane highway connecting the zero point of the Kartarpur corridor to Gurdaspur-Amritsar Highway by September 30, while the Passenger Terminal Complex at Dera Baba Nanak will be completed by October 31.

Built on a 15-acre land, the Passenger Terminal Complex has all public amenities to enable smooth passage of approximately 5,000 pilgrims per day.

The Kartarpur corridor along the India-Pakistan border is three kilometres away from Gurdaspur in Punjab, India. Once opened, this corridor will allow Sikh pilgrims direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev passed away in 1539.

Last month, Pakistani authorities decided to start the process of issuance of visas to Sikh pilgrims from India and around the world to attend the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak in Nankana Sahib, on September 1.

Meeting to finalise remaining modalities of corridor on Indian side of the border

Last week, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the opening of Kartarpur corridor will remain on track irrespective of Pakistan’s ties with India over the Kashmir crisis, rejecting rumours that Pakistan had stalled the work on the corridor after the country’s relations with its neighbour strained in the aftermath of India’s decision to change the constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir. The historic corridor will be inaugurated in November this year, she said.

Dr Mohammed Faisal - who is the Director General South Asia at the foreign ministry - will lead the Pakistan side.

Earlier Dr Faisal had said: “Work continues on the Kartarpur corridor on our side. We hope for expedited progress in the meeting to ensure operationalisation of the corridor for the 550th birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak. We are moving forward on this issue with positive spirit.”

Pakistan and India are expected to set up facilitation centres and check posts on their own sides. Officials said the permit issued by Pakistan will be only for the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib and if the Sikh pilgrims wished to travel elsewhere, they would need a visa. Pakistan and India will also discuss the duration of Sikh pilgrims stay on the Pakistani side.

The corridor will give Indian pilgrims easy access to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur on the banks of the Ravi river, in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev spent 18 years.

Thousands of Sikhs visit the shrine in Pakistan every year. Darbar Sahib Kartarpur is located in the Narowal district. It is built on the historic site where Guru Nanak settled and assembled a Sikh community after his missionary travels.

The present Gurdwara is built on the site where Guru Nanak died on September 22, 1539.The Gurdwara is also notable for its location near the border between Pakistan and India.

The shrine is visible from the Indian side of the border as Pakistani authorities generally trim the tall elephant grass that would otherwise obstruct the view. Indian Sikhs gather in large numbers to perform darshan, or sacred viewing of the site, from the Indian side of the border.