No communication with India over opening of Kartarpur Border, says FO


–FO spokesperson denies knowledge of any decision to seek financial assistance from Saudi Arabia


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal on Wednesday said there has been no official communication between Pakistan and India over the opening of Kartarpur Border.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Sikh community in Pakistan urged the Indian government to open Kartarpur Border in order to facilitate movement of Sikh pilgrims.

Speaking about Pakistan seeking economic assistance worth more than $2 billion from Saudi Arabia for its oil purchases during PM Imran’s two-day visit to the Kingdom, Faisal said he was not aware of any such decision.

Dr Faisal further added he was not aware of the premier attending the Pakistan-India Asia Cup clash in Dubai either.

Regarding the details about Chinese foreign minister’s recent visit, Dr Faisal said, “Kashmir issue was discussed in the meeting.”

Earlier this week, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in an interview with BBC Urdu had said, “Pakistan will soon open the Kartarpur Border for Sikh pilgrims, and allow them to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib without having to obtain a visa.”

“A system has been formed for the pilgrims entering Pakistan,” Chaudhry noted.

Former Indian cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu who had visited Pakistan to attend Prime Minister Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony had said, “Chief of Army Staff General Bajwa had told him the Pakistan government will open the Dera Baba Nanak (Kartarpur) corridor on Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.”

Earlier, the Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan Sikh Council, Sardar Ramesh Singh Khalsa encouraged India on Tuesday to extend the “hand of friendship” as Pakistan has already taken two steps forward if long-lasting peace is desired.

It was further added that if the border is opened for crossing, it will allow Indian pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartar Singh and Pakistanis to visit Dera Baba Nanak on the Indian side.

According to Khalsa, it has been a long pending demand of Sikhs to open Kartarpur the border for pilgrims.

Khalsa further said that Pakistan’s Sikh community, including those residing in Sindh, are thankful to the new government for announcing the opening of the border before Guru Nanak’s 550th anniversary.

“Pakistan is a peaceful country and it hopes to change the mindset of all the Sikh pilgrims from India and around the world,” he added.