Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said his country wants a "strong" and "civilised" relationship with India and the two neighbours can resolve all issues, including Kashmir, with determination.
"I am saying today, that our political leaders, our army, and all other institutions are all on one page. We wish to move forward, we want a civilised relationship. We have just one problem, Kashmir. If man can walk on the moon, what problems are there that we cannot resolve?" Khan said during the groundbreaking ceremony for Kartarpur corridor project, which was attended by Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, government officials, Union ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri and foreign diplomats.
"I assure you that we can solve this problem. But determination and big dreams are necessary. Imagine, once trade begins, once our relationship is fixed, how much both nations could benefit," he said and reiterated that if India takes one step forward, Pakistan will take two steps forward in friendship.
"If France and Germany who fought several wars can live in peace, why can't India and Pakistan," the prime minister said.
Khan said that there have been "mistakes on both sides" and asserted that the two sides should not live in the past.
"Where Pakistan and India stand today, we have seen such a situation for 70 years now," Khan said.
"We will stay stuck this way unless we break the shackles of the past and stop blaming each other," he said, adding that the two neighbours must improve their ties.
He said the citizens of both countries want peace and it is just the leadership which needs to be on same page.
He assured the Sikh community that facilities at Kartarpur Sahib will be even better for 550th birth celebrations for Guru Nanak Dev next year.
"We will keep improving the Kartarpur darbar for you," he told thousands of Sikh pilgrims from both India and Pakistan who were present at the ceremony.
Khan said India and Pakistan need more steps like this (Kartarpur Corridor) for peace in the South Asian region.
The much-awaited Kartarpur corridor will connect Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur - the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev - with Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district and facilitate visa-free movement of Indian Sikh pilgrims, who will have to just obtain a permit to visit Kartarpur.
Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan is located across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. It was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev who is believed to have spent 18 years here. The first Gurdwara, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, was built here, where Guru Nanak is said to have died.
(With inputs from PTI)
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