India-Pakistan Kartarpur talks on March 14; Indian delegation to comprise of officials from MHA & MEA

File photo of the Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Mar 13, 2019, 12.19 PM (IST) Siddhant Sibal

India-Pakistan officials will meet on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border on Thursday to decide on the modalities of the Kartarpur corridor. This will be the first meeting between the officials of the 2 countries to decide on the details such as alignment of the corridor. 

The Indian delegation will include officials from the Ministry of home affairs(MHA) and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The delegation will be led by Joint Secretary (Foreigners) MHA,  Anil Malik and will also include Joint Secretary (PAI--Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran) MEA, Deepak Mittal.

The Pakistan Delegation will be led by Director-General South Asia and SAARC Dr Mohammad Faisal along with officials from Pakistan's interior, law and religious affairs ministry. 

The talks will start from 10 am in the morning and will end at 4 pm. 

New Delhi and Islamabad had last week confirmed that talks are on schedule despite the India Pakistan tensions. Meanwhile, India has clarified that talks are not a resumption of dialogue.

The ministry of external affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on 9th March said, "It is not a resumption of bilateral dialogue..its related to emotions and sentiments of Indian citizens of Sikh faith and our decision to meet reflects our strong commitment to the operationalisation of Kartarpur Sahib corridor"

India has already approved the building of a passenger terminal building (PTB complex) at the cost of Rs 190 crores which will be able to handle immigration and customs clearance facilities for5000 pilgrims every day. The design of the complex has been inspired by "Khanda" which is the symbol of Sikhism. India has already shared the crossing point for the corridor but Pakistan has suggested an alternate crossing point.

In November 2018, both India and Pakistan approved the building of the corridor. The  Holy Gurudwara at Kartarpur is the place where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak lived for 18 years. The 2019 year marks the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. 

Both India and Pakistan believe the corridor can help in "facilitating and fortifying" people-to-people bonds of the 2 countries.