NEW DELHI ;
THE cross-border travel between India and Pakistan has been temporarily suspended as a measure to contain the spread of coronavirus, according to sources. “Cross border travel has been temporarily suspended as part of measures to prevent and contain the spread of coronavirus. Further view would be taken in consultation with health authorities and other concerned stakeholders,” sources said. The sources further said, “It is to be noted that Pakistan is trying to create a mirage of goodwill by proposing to resume Kartarpur corridor on 29 June, at the short notice of 2 days, while bilateral agreement provides for information to be shared by India with Pakistan side at least 7 days before the date of travel. This would need India to open up the registration process well in advance.”
“Besides, Pakistan has not built the bridge on their side across the flood plains of Ravi river despite having committed to it in the bilateral agreement. With the advent of monsoon, it would need to be evaluated whether pilgrim movement is possible through the corridor in a safe and secure manner,” the sources added.
This comes hours after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi tweeted: “As places of worship open up across the world, Pakistan prepares to reopen the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor for all Sikh pilgrims, conveying to the Indian side our readiness to reopen the corridor on 29 June 2020, the occasion of the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.”
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kartarpur Corridor was shut down by the Indian Government. Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, a 4.7-kilometre-long passage that connects Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in India’s Gurdaspur and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur. It was inaugurated last year.