Sikh yatris, Indian ministers attend Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony

Sikh yatris, Indian ministers attend Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony

Sikh yatris, Indian ministers attend Kartarpur corridor groundbreaking ceremony

While hailing Pakistan's initiative of opening Kartarpur Corridor, the US State Department has said it welcomes efforts to increase people-to-people contact between India and Pakistan, ARY News reported on Thursday.

Citing the example of Malaysian leader Mahatir Muhammad, who had made his country an economic power, he said like him (Mahatir), Prime Minister Imran Khan was trying to steer Pakistan out of the economic crisis.

"This corridor will be a historical landmark between India and Pakistan and will also boost tourism as more pilgrims would visit the holy shrine throughout the year between two countries", said an Indian press release.

"Pakistan is reminded that it must fulfill its global obligations and take effective and credible action to stop providing shelter and all kind of support to cross border terrorism from territories under its control". Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur, who also attended the ceremony, took a swipe at Mr Sidhu on his bonhomie with the Pakistani prime minister.

Soon after, Khan hit back on Twitter saying, "Disappointed at the arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue".

In a speech after laying the foundation stone, Khan said Pakistan and India have both made mistakes in the past but they now need to work together to improve ties.

He assured the Sikh community that facilities at Kartarpur Sahib will be even better for 550th birth celebrations for Guru Nanak Dev next year.

Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, spent more than 18 years of his life in Kartarpur.

He said Pakistan and India can not understand the opportunities God has given to them.

"But that does not mean that bilateral talks will start only on this", she said, adding terror and talks can not go together.

Speaking at the event, PM Khan said the happiness he has seen on the Sikh attendees' faces was the same he could imagine seeing on Muslim people's faces if they were four kilometres from the Holy Kaaba and finally allowed to visit it. "Express gratitude also to Pakistan government".

Sidhu, who spoke at the event, said there had been enough violence and that the corridor would be a major opportunity to bring peace to the region.

Khan also came in defence of Punjab Cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for being criticised by several Indian leaders for visiting Pakistan to attend the former's oath-taking ceremony and hugging Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa.

Relationship between India and Pakistan have always been problematic.

A day after the foundation ceremony of the Kartarpur corridor, Imran Khan asserted the he couldn't answer for the "past" when questioned about repeated attacks on Indian soil despite signing agreements.

He said that the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir is a decades-old dispute which can only be resolved through the continuation of a dialogue. It connects the twin Sikh shrines of Gurudwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan and Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in India through a 4.5 km stretch of road.

Pakistan denies supporting militants targeting Indian forces in Kashmir and in return accuses India of supporting separatist movements within Pakistan.

Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesman Mohammad Faisal had said on Tuesday that prime minister Modi will be invited to that country for the SAARC summit.

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