More than month since India’s protest, Pak yet to respond on Kartarpur : MEA

More than month since India's protest, Pak yet to respond on Kartarpur : MEA

New Delhi:  Over a month after India summoned its deputy envoy in Delhi to raise protests over Khalistani presence in the Pakistani panel on Kartarpur and rescheduled the April 2 meet on the Corridor at Wagah, India is yet to get any response from Pakistan on the same.

“The meet (at Wagah) was postponed and there were very strong reasons for postponement. We had sought clarification from Pakistan on the presence of controversial elements in the Corridor committee. We did intimate to them that we can discuss the modalities of the next meeting after we get response from Pakistan,” MEA spokesman Raveesh Kumar told reporters here.

“We are still waiting for Pakistan’s response,” he said.

On March 29, India had summoned Pakistani deputy envoy in Delhi Syed Haider Shah to raise protests over Khalistani presence in the Pakistani panel on Kartarpur and also rescheduled the April 2 meet on the Corridor at Wagah.

“We told Pakistan categorically that while we are very keen to bring these discussions on the modalities, we need clarifications,” the source said adding, the Pakistan government through cabinet decision has set up a committee on Kartarpur and a number of controversial names have come in that.

These include – the names of Gopal Singh Chawla, Maninder Singh, Tara Singh, Bisan Singh and Kuljeet Singh.

“These names are controversial elements. Gopal Singh Chawla is a person who is associated with internationally designated terrorist Hafiz Saeed of JuD. They are associated with anti-India secessionist elements as are also other names,” the source said.

Indian government has maintained that these are serious concerns about security.

The first round of talks at Attari held on March 14 discussed several issues but there were wide range of gaps too.

While India had sought for opening the corridor on all seven days for pilgrims’ visits, on its part Pakistan has ‘restricted’ the visits to specific days (and not throughout the week).

Pakistan also did not agree on devotees’ travel as individuals on foot and insisted on their movement in a group of at least 15 on board a vehicle, sources said.

India and Pakistan last year agreed to open a special border crossing linking Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan’s Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district.

India also has demanded that the Kartarpur Corridor be open to people from all religions – not necessarily Sikhs alone.

India has made amply it clear that the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor should not be misused, official sources have said here.

 

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