As the Narendra Modi Cabinet on Thursday approved the construction of Kartarpur corridor, Pakistan said that it has already conveyed to India its decision to open the corridor on Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary in 2019.
Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said in a tweet, "Prime Minister Imran Khan will break ground at Kartarpura facilities on 28 November. We welcome the Sikh community to Pakistan for this auspicious occasion."
Earlier on Thursday, home minister Rajnath Singh said that India will build and develop the corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab's Gurdaspur district to the International Border to facilitate Sikh pilgrims visiting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur on the banks of the Ravi river in Pakistan. Kartarpur Sahib is the final resting place of Guru Nanak Dev and one of the holiest shrines of Sikhs.
"Kartarpur corridor project, with all modern amenities and facilities, to be implemented with Central Government funding," he said in a series of tweets.
The Kartarpur corridor will provide smooth and easy passage to pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib throughout the year. Government of Pakistan will be urged to reciprocate and develop a corridor with suitable facilities in their territory.
— राजनाथ सिंह (@rajnathsingh) November 22, 2018
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India has approached the Pakistani government to recognise the sentiments of the Sikh community and build the corridor, in keeping with the resolution adopted by the Cabinet.
In response, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said Imran Khan had proposed in writing to hold talks on all issues, including Kartarpura, but India refused to come forward.
He said Pakistan's efforts were continuing and it issued 3,838 visas to Indian Sikhs to visit Pakistan to attend religious ceremonies.
"We, on our part, will continue our efforts but we cannot do much unless there is response from the other side," Faisal said.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Nov 22, 2018 17:00:07 IST