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Pakistan drags its feet on India's request on technical meeting on Kartarpur

Kartarpur gurudwara. (Picture courtesy: Pakistan Foreign Ministry) Photograph:( WION )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 23, 2019, 09.12 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal Edited By: Shivani Kumar

Pakistan continues to drag its feet for the fourth round of Kartarpur technical meet which was requested by New Delhi earlier this month.

India had requested Pakistan in early August to hold another round of technical meeting on Kartarpur corridor but did not receive any response so far. This week again India sent a reminder requesting Pakistan to hold the technical meet.

The development comes despite Islamabad's public statements that it is committed to the initiative in the backdrop of it cutting diplomatic and trade ties with India due to New Delhi removing a special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. 

"Kartarpur initiative will continue," Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had said.

WION had first reported that New Delhi has requested for the meet in the first week of August, for which "A reminder was also issued", a source said.

On the agenda will be three things, till the time bridge on Ravi river is not constructed, Pakistan should build a service road, provision to help pilgrims if an emergency arises and mechanism to share details of pilgrims.

If the meet materialises, this will be the fourth round of technical talks between the two countries in 2019. So far three rounds of India-Pakistan technical meetings have taken place, March, April and May 2019, during which both sides endorsed the crossing point coordinates.

When the second round of talks between Indian-Pakistan officials took place on July 14, Islamabad agreed to construct a bridge over the old Ravi creek that will allow all-weather pilgrimage to the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, throughout the year.

Both sides are keen to open the corridor, which was agreed by both sides last year ahead of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji in November 2019.