US reiterates support for Kartarpur Corridor, says will help build people-to-people contact
The United States had first welcomed the corridor after its inauguration last November, on two separate days in India and Pakistan.
The United States on Tuesday reiterated its support for the under-construction Kartarpur corridor and said “we’re incredibly supportive of” anything that improves and builds people-to-people contact between India and Pakistan.
“We encourage it,” said US state department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus at the daily briefing in response to a request for comment. “Anything that increases people-to-people ties between India and Pakistan is something that we’re incredibly supportive of.”
Work is underway on the corridor in order to operationalize it in time for the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November. India and Pakistan held a second round of meetings on the corridor at the Wagah Border on Sunday and agreed to a number of related issues that would go into ensuring safe passage to and from the Sikh shrine Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib to, according to Indian estimates, 5,000 people every day.
It could not be immediately ascertained if the US support for the project will figure in President Donald Trump’s discussions with Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House next Monday. They are expected to discuss Afghanistan and counter-terrorism among other issues in what will be their first meeting yet.
The United States had first welcomed the corridor after its inauguration last November, on two separate days in India and Pakistan. “We would welcome efforts to increase people-to-people ties between India and Pakistan,” deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino had said then, also in response to a question.
The United States supports normalization of ties between India and Pakistan through talks and other measures, including people-to-people interactions that can help, but has left it to the two countries to thrash it out, unless asked to intervene by both sides.