Nov. 28 (UPI) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone Wednesday for the new Kartarpur corridor, which will help Indian pilgrims cross the Pakistan border to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.
The idea of such a corridor between the two nations to provide safe passage for Indian Sikh pilgrims was first proposed 20 years ago but was rekindled recently when Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu traveled to Pakistan to see Khan take the oath as prime minister, according to the Hindustan Times.
Both countries announced last week that they would develop the corridor on their respective side of the border.
The Gurdwara Darbar Sahib is a historic shrine for Sikhs, where Guru Naka settled and established the Sikh community after his missionary travels. The shrine was built where he died in 1539. Khan used the ceremony to call for peace.
"If France and Germany who fought several wars can live in peace, why not India and Pakistan," Khan said at the ceremony, the Times of India reported. "I, prime minister, my political party and the rest of our political parties, our army, and our institutions are on the same page. We want to move forward."
Sushma Swaraj, India's minister for external affairs, said Pakistan must speak out against terrorism against India if it is serious about moving forward in improving diplomatic relations between the two countries. Some complained Khan's statement was absent of words renouncing terrorism.
"Unless and until Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, there will be no dialogue and we will not participate in the [South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation]," Swaraj said at a news conference.