‘Concerns remain unaddressed’: MEA on Kartarpur corridor talks with Pakistan
India on Thursday said Pakistan has not addressed the concerns it raised with the country over Kartarpur corridor. Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India has “sought clarification from Pakistan” on certain issues but Islamabad is yet to satisfy New Delhi on the matter.
“It’s important to remember we remain committed to realise aspirations of people. Aspirations which flow out of pending demand of Indian pilgrims to visit Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor,” Kumar was quoted as saying by news agency ANI in response to a query if there has been any communication from Pakistan side over Kartarpur corridor.
Kumar said, “At the same time, there are certain things which came to our notice, we had sought clarifications from Pakistan on a number of issues. They remain unaddressed by Pakistan.”
“We had also shared our concerns on reports that controversial elements have been appointed by Pakistan to a committee which was to be associated with Kartarpur corridor. We are yet to receive a response from Pakistan. That’s why we decided to postpone meeting,” said Kumar, according to ANI.
A meeting between India and Pakistan scheduled for April 2 to discuss the Kartarpur Corridor details could not take place over the concerns raised by New Delhi. India has objected to Pakistan’s decision to appoint a pro-Khalistani leader to a committee to help Indian pilgrims to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.
Reports from Pakistan suggested that minister for information Chaudhry Fawad Hussain had in March announced a ten-member committee with pro-Khalistani leader Gopal Singh Chawla onboard.
Chawla is a Pakistan-backed separatist leader who is demanding a separate homeland for the Sikhs. He is reported to be the general secretary of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee.
His name had cropped up during investigations into the grenade attack on the Nirankari Bhawan in Amritsar last year. Three people were killed in the incident. Chawla is said to have prevented Indian diplomats from visiting a gurdwara in Lahore.
The officials from India and Pakistan held first round of meeting to discuss the proposed corridor to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in March. The 4 km-corridor will facilitate pilgrimage from Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Gurdaspur on the Indian side to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur in Pakistan.