Pakistan and India will hold the third round of talks on the draft agreement and operationalisation of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims at Attari on Wednesday, a Foreign Office official said Monday. The proposed corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur Sahib, which was established in 1522 by Sikh faith founder Guru Nanak Dev.
The September 4 meeting would take place on the Indian side of the Wagah Border - Attari Border - where officials from the two countries are expected to finalise the draft agreement pertaining to opening of the corridor.
"We are hopeful that in September 4 meeting Pakistan and India will reach a consensus on the issues that couldn't be settled in the last meeting (on July 14) regarding the draft agreement and operationalisation of Kartarpur corridor," the Foreign Office official told PTI.
The meeting would take place four days after the technical experts from India and Pakistan held talks on the corridor, the first such meeting after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status leading to fresh tensions between the two neighbours.
The meeting on Friday lasted for close to two hours and both the sides have said "good progress" on the technical aspects of the proposed corridor.
During the September 4 meeting, the Pakistani delegation would be led by South Asia and SAARC Director General and Foreign Office spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal.
Both countries have agreed that Pakistan would allow 5,000 Sikh visitors per day into the country through the corridor, which will also be the first visa-free corridor between the two neighbours since their independence in 1947.
After the second round of talks between the two countries on July 14 at the Wagah border, Faisal had said: "There has been positive progress and we moved forward. Both countries have agreed 80 per cent and beyond regarding the Kartarpur corridor agreement. We may have another meeting to resolve the remaining 20 per cent issues between us on this matter."
Pakistan is building the corridor from the Indian border to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Guru Nanak, while the other part from Dera Baba Nanak up to the border will be constructed by India.
India is constructing a bridge at the zero point and has urged Pakistan to build a similar bridge on its side that will provide safe and secure movement of pilgrims and address concerns regarding flooding.
The bridge is over a creek of which the majority part falls in Pakistan.
Tension between India and Pakistan has escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status. Reacting to India's move on Kashmir, Pakistan downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.
Pakistan has repeatedly said that the opening of the corridor will not be hit by the current tension with India.