Kartarpur corridor will not be a security challenge: BSF chief

Side issues loom over G-20 summit as world leaders arrive

Border Security Force Director General R K Mishra Friday stated that the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor between India and Pakistan will not pose a challenge for border security. He iterated it was not difficult to look for the security along the International Border as several people already cross over to Pakistan through Wagah-Attari.

“Opening of Kartarpur corridor not a problem for border security,” Mishra said. “More people go across Wagah border. Not such a problematic thing to handle.”

He further said, “We have given a befitting reply to Pakistan for the death of our soldier in September. It is difficult to quantify the damage across the border.”

The foundation stones for the development of the Kartarpur corridor on either side of the border were laid by India and Pakistan this week. The four-kilometer corridor will help the passage of pilgrims to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan. It is stated to be the place where Guru Nanak spent his final days and breathed his last.

Mishra’s comments come days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj stated that the opening of the corridor does not mean New Delhi will participate in talks with Islamabad, “until and unless” Pakistan stops sponsoring terror. She had added that the country will not attend the SAARC Summit in Pakistan.

Swaraj commented: “Bilateral dialogues and the Kartarpur corridor project are different things. I am glad that for the last 20 years, rather many years, the Government of India has been asking for the Kartarpur corridor and, for the first time, Pakistan has answered positively to this.”

“But, that doesn’t mean that the bilateral dialogue will commence only on this. Bilateral talks always say that terror and talks cannot go together. The moment Pakistan ceases all terrorist activities in India, the dialogue can start. But the dialogue is not concerned with the Kartarpur project,” she added.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, meanwhile, stated he, his government, the army, and all political parties are “on the same page” to improve ties with India. “If India takes one step forward then we will take two steps forward toward friendship,” he added.

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