Kartarpur Corridor not connected with dialogue process with Pak: Sushma Swaraj

File photo: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Photograph:( PTI )

PTI Hyderabad, Telangana, India Nov 28, 2018, 12.30 PM (IST)

India's Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has said that the Kartarpur Corridor is not connected with dialogue process with Pakistan.

India has been asking for a corridor, which will facilitate visa-free travel of Indian Sikh pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, for many years and she said she was happy that Pakistan had for the first time responded positively.

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

Swaraj, who is campaigning in Hyderabad ahead of the Telangana elections on December 7, was addressing a press conference.

"The moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, the dialogue can start but the dialogue is not connected with only the Kartarpur corridor," she said.

Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan will lay the foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor on Wednesday.

Pakistan had invited Swaraj for the ceremony but she expressed her inability to attend the deremony due to prior commitments. The minister had said that India would be represented by Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri.

Pakistan had also invited Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and his cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu. While Singh declined to attend the event, citing continued terrorist attacks in his state and killings of Indian soldiers by Pakistan's armed forces, Sidhu left for Pakistan on Tuesday.

The foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor was laid at Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab's Gurdaspur district by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Singh on Monday.

The corridor will facilitate easy passage for Sikh pilgrims to the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan.

The decision to build passage from Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district to the International Border was taken by the Union Cabinet on November 22.

It has been a long-pending demand of the Sikh community.

Kartarpur is located in Shakargarh in Narowal district of Pakistan's Punjab. Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, had spent more than 18 years of his life there.

The Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located on the banks of the Ravi river, about three-four kilometres from the border in Pakistan.

Story highlights

The foundation stone for the Kartarpur corridor was laid at Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab's Gurdaspur district by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Singh on Monday.