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We regret the Indian decision to postpone the meeting on Kartarpur Sahib Corridor to be held on 2nd April 2019 as agreed by both sides in the meeting and subsequent Joint Statement of 14 March 2019.

According to India, it has sought postponement to seek clarification on Indian proposals on the modalities of the corridor and its concerns about ‘appointments to a committee to be associated with Kartarpur Corridor.”

The scheduled meeting was being held to discuss areas of divergence with a view to align positions and reach consensus for expedited operationalization of the corridor for the upcoming anniversary of Guru Nanak in November this year. Postponing the meeting only endangers Pakistan’s Kartarpur initiative.

This 10-member, purely religious committee referred to by India (Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC)), is not specific to Kartarpur Sahib but is responsible for upkeep of all Sikh Gurdwaras in Pakistan. It is not a new mechanism but was constituted under Section 3 of the “Scheme for Renovation, Maintenance and Preservation of Sikh Holy Shrines” in 2004 and is reconstituted after every 3 years.

Indian postponement of the meeting without prior consultations is unfortunate and could stymie the progress made and acknowledged by both sides in the Joint Statement of 14 March 2019.

Pakistan on its part continues to be committed to uphold its promise to operationalise the Corridor for the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak in November 2019.

29 March 2019

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