Pakistan army wants to mend ties with India, says Imran Khan

Pakistan and India begin construction of 'corridor of peace'

Pakistan and India begin construction of 'corridor of peace'

Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa had hinted at opening the Kartarpur border on the occasion of Baba Guru Nanak's birth anniversary next year for Sikh pilgrims when he met cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu during the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Khan in August.

In his tweet, the Spokesperson of the Foreign Office Dr Muhammad Faisal said, "The world comes together for the #PakistanKartarpurSpirit - diplomats attending the groundbreaking ceremony". Sidhu is a leader of the opposition party Indian National Congress and had recently visited Pakistan and called for restoring peace between the two neighbours.

PM Imran Khan (C) arrives for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Kartarpur Corridor in Kartarpur on November 28, 2018.

"It is deeply regrettable that the Prime Minister of Pakistan chose to politicise the pious occasion meant to realise the long pending demand of the Sikh community to develop Kartarpur corridor by making unwarranted reference to Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral and inalienable part of India".

Swaraj, who is campaigning here ahead of the Telangana elections on December 7, said, "The moment Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, dialogue can start but the dialogue is not connected with only the Kartarpur corridor". The temple in Kartarpur in Pakistan is among the holiest sites for Sikhs.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone for the corridor connecting Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur area of Narowal district with Dera Baba Nanak in India's Gurdaspur district.

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The Gurdwara is also notable for its location near the border between Pakistan and India.

"We will keep improving the Kartarpur darbar for you", Imran Khan told thousand of Sikh pilgrims from both India and Pakistan who were present at the ceremony. "This corridor is full of promise, it will bring the two countries close", he said. But here, we move forward and then we move backwards. He said Pakistan is entering a new phase of peace, adding that Naya Pakistan is safe for all people.

"If India takes one step forward, we will take two steps forward in friendship", he reiterated. Further deterioration of the relationship between India and Pakistan would be harmful to both the countries. "Just imagine the potential we have if our relationships get stronger". Speaking to reporters at the Wagah Border, Sidhu hailed the Kartarpur Corridor.

Khan gave examples from his cricket playing days and said a player used to have a fear of losing while entering the stadium.

He said Sidhu has such a large fan following in Pakistan, specially in the country's Punjab province, that if he ran in elections here, he would win. Following their biometric identification and security clearance, they will freely perform their religious rituals in Gurdwara Darbar Sahib and return to their country after the biometric screening. With the construction of the corridor, it will take pilgrims a few minutes to reach the gurdwara.

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