Contacts at zero despite border cooperation between Pakistan,India

India Daily Post: Contacts between India and Pakistan are “zero”, Pakistan’s foreign minister said, even as the old rivals opened 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 neighbors 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 crossed the border on Saturday, 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

“There is no back-channel. We’ve had wars, things have been worse than this, but things are bad,” Qureshi told Reuters in an interview in the Pakistani city of Lahore late on Friday.

“For any sane mind, it is concerning.”

A spokesman for India’s foreign ministry did not respond to a request for comment.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.

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