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Sunday Aug 25 2019

Pakistan to open Kartarpur Corridor irrespective of relations with India: Awan

Firdous Ashiq Awan rejected rumours that Pakistan had stalled work on Kartarpur Corridor amid Kashmir crisis. File photo.

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor will remain on track irrespective of Pakistan’s ties with India over the Kashmir crisis.

Addressing a press conference in Lahore on Saturday, Awan rejected rumours that Pakistan had stalled work on the Kartarpur Corridor, after the country’s relations with India strained in the aftermath of the Modi government’s decision to end the special status of occupied Kashmir.

She clarified that irrespective of the ties between the two countries, Pakistan’s doors will remain open to Sikh pilgrims visiting Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in connection with the 550th birth anniversary of Baba Guru Nanak, and other religious sites.

The historic corridor will be inaugurated in November this year, she added.

Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab province holds religious significance for the Sikh community. It is where Baba Guru Nanak settled down after his travels as a missionary. He lived there for 18 years until his death in 1539.

Pakistan will build the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak in Indian Punjab's Gurdaspur district up to the border will be constructed by India. 

Indian forces continued their lockdown of occupied Kashmir for the 21st day on Sunday, after India withdrew Article 370 of its constitution that gave a special status to the disputed territory.

Indian authorities continued to impose strict curfew and other restrictions across the valley, preventing Kashmiris from holding demonstrations against the occupation and end of special status for Jammu and Kashmir.