Pakistan, India Move to Open Historic Border Crossing for Sikhs

Pakistan       by Haider Ali | Published

Pakistan by Haider Ali | Published

A Sikh pilgrim visits the shrine of their spiritual leader Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur, Pakistan, Nov. 28, 2018. The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was built here, where Guru Nanak Dev is said to have died.

"We are willing to wait for (general) elections to get over in India for a gesture from New Delhi", Khan said, referring to the Lok Sabha elections scheduled for next year.

The inauguration of the corridor on the Indian side took place Monday and Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to inaugurate construction at the Pakistani end later today. He can come and contest election here in Pakistan's Punjab, he'll win.

When asked why Pak can't take action against Saaed or extradite 1992 blast accused Dawood Ibrahim, Khan said the effort to bridge trust deficit "can't be one-sided".

"My political party, the rest of our political parties, our army, all our institutions are all on one page". We wish to move forward, we want a civilised relationship. "We need peace in order to speed up the development of our country", Qureshi said.

He, however, said the gesture for peace can not be one-sided.

Next year, we will provide all the possible facilities for you, he said.

Imran Khan said that there have been "mistakes on both sides" and asserted that the two sides should not live in the past. "A journey that our people can walk together towards a future of shared peace and prosperity for India and Pakistan", he said.

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General Bajwa was among the big gathering of guests at the groundbreaking ceremony, including diplomats, Indian journalists, Sikh devotees and a ministerial level delegation representing Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The happiness I see in you today, if I were to explain to my Muslim brother and sisters, is that imagine that you are standing 4-km outside Medina (a city in Saudi Arabia where the Prophet is buried) and can not go in, and you are then given the chance to go. That is the happiness I see here".

In a post captioned "With sedu pa g", Sidhu is seen standing beside Chawla, who is one of the prominent voices seeking a separate homeland for the Sikh community.

Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has been criticised for his visit to Pakistan for the ground-breaking ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor has now returned to India.

"Bilateral dialogues and Kartarpur corridor are two different things", she said.

The fenced crossing dubbed a "corridor of peace" will link Indian border city Dera Baba Nanak, to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak in Pakistani Punjab. While discussions related to the opening of the Kartarpur corridor are underway, both India and Pakistan blame each other for fomenting tensions along the LoC. Even if both Pakistan and India are willing to make peace with each other, the global powers involved in the great game in Afghanistan and the sale of billions of dollars worth of weapons to South Asian countries will never let peace prevail.

He added, the corridor will facilitate the Sikh pilgrims to visit their holiest sites in Pakistan. However, a short-lived thaw happened when Atal Behari Vajpayee, India's three-time Prime Minister, took a bus to Lahore in 1999 and hugged his Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, leaving an endearing image that symbolized hope in bilateral ties. The ties between the two countries had strained after the terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups in 2016. She said India will not attend the event till Pakistan stops cross-border terrorism.

The Pakistan foreign minister said the new government has now carved out from scratch the country's foreign policy priorities.

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