U.S. welcomes opening of Kartarpur corridor


"Just imagine the potential we have if our relationships get stronger".

The Pakistani prime minister has said that India and Pakistan should learn lessons from the past to resolve the differences over Jammu and Kashmir while asserting that if India takes one step forward then Pakistan will take two steps forward toward friendship during the foundation laying ceremony of a pilgrimage corridor.

Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has also arrived to attend the ceremony.

The Sikh community was demanding for a long time to build a corridor linking India's border district of Gurdaspur to historic gurudwara in Narowal, Pakistan.

"#Kashmir finds a mention at the groundbreaking of the #KartarpuraCorridor". We have found Kashmiri terrorists in Punjab. "Makes it sound so simple", Omar wrote on twitter. ─ AFP Indian artist Gurpreet Singh poses with a paper model of the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan - the focus of the Kartarpur corridor between India and Pakistan - in Amritsar.

India and Pakistan made some headway in improving their relations by announcing to jointly-construct a border crossing for millions of Indian Sikhs who have long desired to visit the shrine of Sikhism's founder, Guru Nanak, which is nestled in Kartarpur, in the Narowal district of Punjab, almost five kilometers away from Pakistan's eastern border. "In opening the Kartarpur border, both governments have opened a new chapter in which many things previously impossible will be possible", said Sidhu. He said the corridor will facilitate the Sikh pilgrims to visit their holiest sites in Pakistan. "If France and Germany can live in peace, why can't India and Pakistan", Imran Khan said.

As a result of this initiative, members of the Sikh community in India will be able to travel to their revered place of worship in Pakistan without a passport and visa.

However, India reiterated its stand that Pakistan must fulfil 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".

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the BBC the Kartarpur project would help improve the countries' relationship.

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A Sikh pilgrim visits the shrine of their spiritual leader Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur, Pakistan, Nov. 28, 2018.

Swaraj also requested in a tweet that Islamabad "expedite construction of the corridor in order to ensure that our citizens can pay their respects at the Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor as soon as possible".

Seventy-five-year-old Gurcharan Singh was just a child during Partition in 1947, when his family left their home in the city of Sialkot, in modern day Pakistan, to head to India. "However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture".

Days before the ground-breaking ceremony, India complained to Pakistan about not allowing officials from its High Commission access to Indian pilgrims visiting Pakistan for the Guru Nanak birth anniversary.

India had proposed the corridor to Pakistan around 20 years back.

India-Pakistan ties nose-dived in recent years with no bilateral talks taking place.

Sidhu is a leader of the opposition party Indian National Congress and had recently visited Pakistan and called for restoring peace between the two neighbours. The ties between the two countries had strained after the terror attacks by Pakistan-based groups in 2016.

An Indian delegation consisting of Indian ministers and journalists attended the ceremony.