03 Oct 2020: India still undecided on reopening its side of Kartarpur Corridor
The corridor allows Indian pilgrims visa-free access to the Durbar Sahib gurdwara across the border in Pakistan.
India had temporarily suspended pilgrimage to the shrine in March in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
Here are more details.
Quote: Decision to be taken in accordance with COVID-19 protocols: MEA
Responding to a query about the matter, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said, "Movement was suspended in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak. We remain in touch with all concerned authorities including ministries of home affairs and health and family welfare."
"A decision on reopening of the corridor would be taken in accordance with the COVID-19 protocols and easing of restrictions," he added.
Pakistan: Pakistan says it's opening corridor on its side
The clarification comes as Pakistan has said that it was opening the corridor after an improvement in the COVID-19 situation in the country. Reportedly, Indian pilgrims would be allowed to visit the gurdwara from dawn to dusk.
However, Pakistan is yet to construct a bridge on the Budhi Ravi channel for the "safe and hassle-free movement of pilgrims" as discussed last year, Srivastava said.
Quote: 'Pakistan yet to construct bridge; ready at our end'
Srivastava said Pakistan had agreed to construct the bridge in the bilateral agreement signed in October 2019.
He said, "One year hence, Pakistan is yet to construct the bridge while it is ready at our end. A technical meeting with Pakistan was also facilitated and two teams met on August 27. There is, however, no progress on part of Pakistan."
Shrine: What is the Kartarpur Corrdor?
Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometers from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine.
Since India's partition, Sikh pilgrims have been cut off from the Darbar Sahib, where Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life.
The corridor—inaugurated last year—allows Indian pilgrims to undertake round the year visa-free travel to the historic gurdwara.