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First Indo-Pak Meet On Kartarpur held in cordial enviroment

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The first meeting between India and Pakistan experts to discuss the modalities and draft agreement for facilitation of pilgrims to visit Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib was held today in a “cordial environment”.

Addressing a media briefing after the talks got over, home ministry joint secretary SCL Das, said that the government had placed three demands before the Pakistani delegation.

Among the three demands was that Pakistan allow at least 5,000 pilgrims to visit to the Gurdwara on a daily basis and that on special days, such as Gurpurab, baisakhi etc, it let as many as 10,000 pilgrims visit the shrine. The Indian government has also asked Pakistan to allow the Indian pilgrims, including non-resident Indians, visa free access to the Gurdwara and that if any pilgrims so desired, they be allowed to visit the shrine on foot.

“We have also emphasised from our side that in the spirit of Kartarpur corridor, it should be absolutely visa free. There should not be any additional encumbrances in the form of any additional documentation or procedures,” Das said.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted as the meeting began.

The meeting comes amid heightened tensions between the two countries after the Pulwama attack on February 14. In an attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, over 40 soldiers were killed.

The next meeting has been scheduled for April 2. Before that, however, technical experts will hold a meeting on March 19 to finalise the alignment.

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