ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Friday said Pakistan will soon open the Kartarpur border crossing with India for Sikh pilgrims.
In a statement, the minister said the Pakistani government desired to hold talks with India for peace, but the latter didn’t give positive response to Islamabad’s peace overture.
He said the military leadership backs the government’s desire to hold talks with India. Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa have realised that Pakistan can not make progress alone, he added.
He linked the country’s progress with the development of the region, saying if there will be no peace in the region, every country will suffer.
Earlier, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshis had said that Pakistan and India have no other option but to resolve all outstanding issues including the core issue of Kashmir through dialogue.
“The PM in his first address had told India that if they take one step, we will take two and we have signalled positively to India,” said Qureshi.
The foreign minister, however, added that “one can’t clap with one hand” and India too should move for a fruitful dialogue.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, a former Indian cricketer and minister in Indian Punjab during his recent visit of Pakistan, to attend the oath taking ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan, had said that Pakistan will allow Sikh pilgrims a direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, situated barely three kilometers from the Gurdaspur border with India, on the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism.
Navjot Singh Sidhu made the declaration in Islamabad soon after his brief meeting with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the oath-taking ceremony of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Kartarpur is located in tehsil Shakargarh in Narowal district of Punjab. It is close to Pak-India border.
Kartarpur was said to be established by Guru Nanak Dev in 1522 AD, where historic Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib has been located, which is the first Sikh worship place ever built, and where Guru Nanak is said to have passed away. NNI