Pakistan wants to ‘move forward toward friendship with India.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said that all Pakistani institutions want to mend ties with India, as officials from both countries attended the groundbreaking ceremony for a new border crossing.
The Pakistani PM, his political party, the rest of the political parties, the army, and all institutions are all on one page. We want to move forward,” Khan told the event in Pakistan’s Punjab Province on November 28.
If India takes one step forward, then we will take two steps forward toward friendship,” Khan also said in his speech.
India and Pakistan have a history of bitter relations since gaining independence from Britain in 1947.
The two nuclear-armed rivals have fought three wars, two of them over the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, where the two sides still regularly exchange fire.
In a rare instance of cooperation between Pakistan and India, the two neighbors have agreed to open a new crossing point between their two regions called Punjab.
The crossing, known as the Kartarpur corridor, is to open in November 2019.
It aims at making it quicker and easier for Sikh pilgrims from India to visit a shrine to Guru Nanak, the 15th-century founder of Sikhism.
Indian Vice President Venkaiah Naidu laid the road’s foundation stone on the other side of the border earlier this week.
The tourism minister of India’s border state of Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu, was among those who crossed the border for the inauguration. Thousands of Sikhs visit Guru Nanak’s shrine in Pakistan every year.
Pakistan used to be home to a large Sikh community, but most of its members went to India during the 1947 partition, with only a few thousand remaining in Pakistan.
Radio Free Europe / ABC Flash Point News 2018.