Pakistan is sticking with its plan to open the first visa-free border crossing with India to facilitate Sikh pilgrims despite brewing tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbors over the longstanding Kashmir dispute.
At a weekly news briefing, Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Mohammad Faisal said the meeting on Kartarpur Corridor would take place soon.
He said Pakistan was committed to open the corridor in November on the 550th birth of Baba Gurunanak.
Prime Minister Imran Khan opened the work on the corridor last year as part of Pakistan’s initiative to allow Sikh pilgrims from across India to visit the shrine of Gurunanak.
The Shrine is located only a few kilometers from the border.
The proposed corridor will allow Sikhs to visit the Shrine without a visa.
The recent tensions triggered by the Indian decision to revoke the special status of Kashmir have raised questions about whether the corridor would be opened as planned.
Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and suspended bilateral trade with India, is still looking to stick with the plan.
It is however not clear if Indian side would be willing to remain committed to the project, which many thought could help bridge differences between the two countries.
To a question, the spokesperson said India had not yet renewed the World Bank brokered Indus Water Treaty.
About reports of stranded Indians after the severing of rail and bus links with India, Faisal said he had no knowledge of any Indian citizens who were in Pakistan.
“But if there were, we are ready to facilitate them. They can go back on foot through Wagha border because the border crossing is open,” he clarified.
He also informed reporters about the steps taken by Pakistan to highlight the grave human rights situation in Kashmir. He said the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister had been reaching out to world capitals to brief them about the negative fallout of Indian move to abrogate the special status.
To another question, the spokesperson made it clear that Daesh had no organized presence in Pakistan.