US welcomes construction of Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims
Washington: The United States on Tuesday (local time) welcomed the construction of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims, saying it is "incredibly supportive" of steps that boost people-to-people ties between India and Pakistan.
On July 14, India and Pakistan had held the second round of bilateral talks to narrow down their differences on the corridor for travel of Sikh pilgrims from Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in Punjab to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan. Both sides said that they had agreed to a majority of modalities for the smooth passage of the pilgrims.
Replying to a question on the construction of the corridor, US State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said it was certainly a good news report and "we encourage it".
"Anything that increases people-to-people ties between India and Pakistan is something that we are incredibly supportive of," the spokesperson told reporters.
Once opened, the three-km corridor will allow Sikh pilgrims direct access to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, where Guru Nanak Dev passed away in 1539.
Sunday's talks between Indian and Pakistani delegations also reviewed the progress reached in the three rounds of technical meetings held in March, April and May this year. The two sides endorsed the crossing point or the 'zero-point' coordinates that were agreed to at the technical level.
The corridor is expected to be completed by September end.