India, Pakistan contacts at ‘zero’ despite border cooperation

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Contacts between India and Pakistan are “zero”, Pakistan’s foreign minister said, even as the old rivals prepared to open a border crossing for Indian pilgrims to visit a Sikh temple, one of their most significant acts of cooperation in decades.

The border crossing pact between the nuclear-armed neighbours allows visa-free access from India to the Pakistani town of Kartarpur, home to a temple that marks the site where the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, died.

Hundreds of Indian delegates including members of the opposition Congress Party are expected to cross the border for the Saturday ceremony, though Pakistani officials familiar with the guest list said there was no representation from India’s ruling Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.

Despite the good news on the border crossing, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said relations had not been as strained as they are now since the two sides battled on their border for months in the northern area of Kargil in 1999. Read More

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