India and Pakistan will hold a meeting on Thursday to finalise the modalities for setting up of a corridor linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in the Pakistani town of Kartarpur with Gurdaspur district in Punjab.
The meeting comes amid heightened tension between the two countries following India's air strike on a terrorist training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and subsequent retaliation by Pakistan.
The meeting will be held on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border and India is likely to urge for the hassle-free travel of its pilgrims to the shrine, according to news agency PTI. India may also request Pakistan to allow the visit of the Indian pilgrims to the gurdwara without any passport and visa.
It might also ask Islamabad to insulate them from any propaganda by Khalistani separatists, PTI reported quoting official sources. In 2018, there were reports that pro-Khalistan banners were shown to a group of Indian pilgrims while they were on their way to two Sikh shrines.
In November 2018, India and Pakistan agreed to set up the border crossing linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur - the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev--to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district.
Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. Sources said the government has identified 50 acres of land for the Kartarpur corridor and it would be developed in two phases.
The Indian delegation will comprise of Union Home Ministry, Ministry of External Affairs, Border Security Force (BSF), the Punjab government and the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) representatives.
The Deputy High Commissioner to India Syed Haider Shah, who reached Punjab's Amritsar on Wednesday, said it is an initiative of Pakistan. "It is an initiative of Pakistan. We want to open Kartarpur corridor so that Sikh people from here (India) can visit in Pakistan. The meeting will be held tomorrow (Thursday)."
Reacting on the no visa for visit Kartarpur corridor move, he said that it will be discussed on Thursday.
The Pakistan delegation is scheduled to reach Amritsar on Thursday and only Shah arrived on Wednesday.