Prime Minister Imran Khan-led Pakistan government has turned down India’s demand for a land swap between the two countries to make Kartarpur a part of India. Pakistan has rejected India’s request to swap Kartarpur with another piece of land in order to make it a part of India. “There is absolutely no question of any land swap,” said Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal, on being asked whether his country would consider handing over the Kartarpur land to India in a swap deal.
Pakistan opened the Kartarpur border in November to facilitate visa-free pilgrimage by Indian Sikhs to Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Narowal district, where Sikhism’s founder Guru Nanak Dev spent the last 18 years of his life. “The Kartarpur Corridor was a gesture for the Sikh minority community made on their request to provide a visa-free corridor, facilitating their visit of a shrine of importance to them.” “The decision to open the Kartarpur Corridor was taken at the state-to-state level and the Indian government was fully involved in it,” Faisal added.
The Punjab Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution on December 14, seeking a land swap deal between the two neighbours on Kartarpur. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh-led government in India decided to take up the proposal with the Union government, in which they were offering over 10,000 acres in the Dera Baba Nanak area in exchange for the land Pakistan, where historical gurdwara stands – barely three kilometres from the India-Pakistan border.