NEW DELHI: After Pakistan reopened Kartarpur Corridor on its side, India on Saturday (October 3) said it will take a decision on the recommencement of travelling through the 4.7-kilometre-long passage that connects Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in India’s Gurdaspur and Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur, in accordance with COVID-19 protocol and easing of restrictions.
“We remain in touch with all concerned authorities including Ministries of Home Affairs and Health and Family Welfare. A decision on re-opening of Kartarpur corridor would be taken in accordance with COVID protocol and easing of restrictions,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in the statement.
The ministry’s reaction comes after Pakistan Ministry of Religious Affairs on Friday issued a notification saying that Indian visitors are allowed to come to visit Kartarpur Gurdwara daily from dawn to dusk as per the bilateral agreement made in 2019 between India and Pakistan.
New Delhi also pointed out that Islamabad is yet to construct a bridge at the Budhi-Ravi channel that was decided by both sides at the time of the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor last year.
“At the time of the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor last year and in the bilateral agreement signed in October 2019, it was decided that both sides shall establish requisite infrastructure including construction of a bridge at Budhi Ravi Channel,” the statement further said.
Kartarpur Sahib Corridor was inaugurated last year. India and Pakistan had agreed to build a bridge at the Budhi-Ravi channel. But with the construction of the bridge on Pakistan side pending. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kartarpur Corridor was shut down by the Indian government in March.
Pakistan’s government had also imposed a ban on Pakistani nationals from travelling via the Kartarpur corridor.
It was reopened briefly in June to commemorate Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s death, with India rejecting Pakistan’s offer and refusing to open the corridor on its side.