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News ID: 36801
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 16:25 - 14 March 2019
TEHRAN, Mar 14 - Officials from India and Pakistan met Thursday amid easing tensions to discuss opening a visa-free border crossing to allow pilgrims to easily visit a Sikh shrine just inside Pakistan.

India, Pakistan officials meet to discuss border openingTEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - A Pakistani delegation crossed over to the Indian side of the land border at Wagah-Attari for the talks. Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal headed the Pakistani delegation. The Indian side was led by S.C.L. Das, a joint secretary in the Home Ministry.

Instead of visas, the two countries plan to give special permits to devotees to access the shrine, the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Narowal border district.

India suggested that initially at least 5,000 pilgrims be allowed to visit the Sikh shrine every day. "We have also strongly urged them to allow the visit of pilgrims on all seven days a week," the Press Trust of India news agency quoted Das as saying.

Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, settled in what is now Pakistan's Kartarpur, where he spent the last 18 years of his life. The shrine was built after Guru Nanak died in the 16th century.

The shrine is visible from the Indian side of the border. Sikhs often gather on bluffs to view the site from the Indian side.

Thursday's meeting was held "in a in a cordial environment" and the two sides agreed to meet again on April 2, according to a joint statement issued after the meeting.

"Both sides held detailed and constructive discussions on various aspects and provisions of the proposed agreement and agreed to work toward expeditiously operationalizing the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor," it said.

Source: AP

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