ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said he was hopeful that US President-elect Joe Biden will help Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.

In a statement, FM Qureshi said Biden had been the US Vice President and was not unaware about the situation and dispute of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan, he said, will continue to support the US efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan. “We will continue to play our role in Afghan peace process. The Foreign Minister said the US President elect Joe Biden has a good command over foreign affairs.”

“The United States has always admired Pakistan as ally and both the countries enjoy good relations in diverse fields,” he added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan said that the Kartarpur Corridor was a symbol of inter-faith harmony.

Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Pakistan had reopened the corridor on June 29 with COVID related necessary health safety protocols but India had yet to reopen the corridor from its side and allow Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Saheb.

“The corridor was temporarily closed on March 16, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said in a statement issued on the occasion of first anniversary of the historic opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.

The Kartarpur Corridor, also known as the ‘Peace Corridor’, was a true symbol of interfaith harmony and religious unity, he added.

Sikh as well as the international community, including United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who while visiting Kartarpur described it as the ‘Corridor of Hope’ immensely appreciated the landmark initiative of Pakistan, he maintained.

The corridor, inaugurated on November 9, 2019 by Prime Minister Imran Khan on the eve of the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, fulfilled the long-awaited desire of Sikh community from all over the world, it added.

As the religious places started gradually opening up around the world, Pakistan also reopened the corridor on June 29, 2020 with COVID related necessary health safety protocols, the FO spokesperson said.

“India has yet to reopen the corridor from its side and allow the Sikh pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Saheb,” he said.

The Kartarpur corridor has a special significance in the Sikh religion, as the first Guru of Sikhism, Baba Guru Nanak Saheb, had spent the last years of his life there.

Separately yesterday, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that promotion of the philosophy and thought of Allama Muhammad Iqbal was still vital for the best training of the country’s youth.

“Today is the birth anniversary of that personality who is known as thinker of Pakistan, great philosopher and Hakeem-ul-Ammat,” he said in his special message on the occasion Iqbal Day.

The Foreign Minister said they should never forget that a free and sovereign state in which they were leading their independent lives was the realization of Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s dream.

He said that as the poetry of Allama Iqbal represented Quran and Sunnah, it still was a beacon of guidance for them.

The Foreign Minister said that Allama Muhammad Iqbal provided Muslims of the sub-continent with the capabilities of awareness and wisdom as well as the spirit of faith.