Pakistan peddles Khalistani agenda in Kartarpur corridor
New Delhi raps Islamabad for video featuring Bhindranwale
India has expressed its unhappiness on Pakistan’s official video on Kartarpur corridor featuring three Sikh separatist leaders, including Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his military adviser Shabeg Singh, who were killed during the Operation Blue Star in 1984.
In Chandigarh, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the video showed Pakistan’s “hidden agenda” in opening the corridor. Officials of the Union Home Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi said they have raised protest with Pakistan authorities.
The video was released on Monday ahead of the inauguration ceremony of the much-awaited corridor, which will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur in Pakistan, just 4 kilometres from the International Border.
The video also showed a poster by a banned pro-Khalistani group, the Sikhs for Justice, which is pushing for Sikh Referendum 2020 as part of its separatist agenda.
Commenting on the video clip, Amarinder said, “All this is what I have been saying from day one, that Pakistan has a hidden agenda here.”
During the Kartarpur corridor talks, India had conveyed its strong concerns to Pakistan over the presence of a leading Khalistani separatist in a committee appointed by Islamabad on the project.
Notwithstanding a chill in bilateral ties over Kashmir, Pakistan and India after tough negotiations signed a landmark agreement last week to operationalise the historic Kartarpur corridor to allow Indian Sikh pilgrims to visit the holy Darbar Sahib in Pakistan.
India has asked Pakistan to clarify whether passport will be required to visit Kartarpur Sahib, Government sources said on Wednesday. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had tweeted that passport will not be required, but according to the agreement, passport will be needed. If there is a change, the agreement has to be amended, the sources said.
“Our security agencies will be careful. Pakistan’s larger aim is to encourage separatism. Pakistan is yet to respond to India’s request to allow visit of advance teams to see arrangements for high dignitaries and convey requirements which they will require,” a source said.
The source said Pakistan has been asked to make adequate arrangements for high-level dignitaries.
The Kartarpur Corridor will connect the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Punjab with Darbar Sahib at Kartarpur, just four kilometres from the International Border, located at Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province.
History will be created when Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the Kartarpur corridor on Saturday, and it reflects the NDA Government’s commitment towards preserving the rich heritage and universalising the teachings of Sri Guru Nanak Dev, said Union Home Minister Amit Shah in a series of tweets.
He, however, did not respond to the controversies surrounding the pilgrimage.
In a series of tweets, Shah also said with the inauguration of the corridor, connecting Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab with Darbar Sahib Kartarpur in Pakistan, a long-cherished dream of millions of followers of Sri Guru Nanak Dev, the founder of Sikhism, will be realised.
“Kartarpur Sahib corridor is a historic achievement that generations of devotees will remember. It will find special mention in the annals of history. It reflects Modi Govt’s commitment towards preserving our rich heritage and universalising the teachings of Shri Guru Nanak Dev ji,” h said.
The Home Minister said with opening of Kartarpur Sahib corridor, on the occasion of the 550th Parkash Purab of Guru Nanak Dev, the Prime Minister has realised the long-cherished dream of millions of devotees. “On (Nov) 9th, let’s witness history being created as PM @narendramodi dedicates this corridor to the nation,” he said.
Home Ministry officials said Modi will inaugurate the Kartarpur corridor on the occasion of Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th birth anniversary. He will also flag off the first ‘Jatha’ (delegation) of pilgrims from Dera Baba Nanak. “The policies of the Prime Minister have melted the borders that stood in the way of faith and religion,” an official said.
Thursday, 07 November 2019 | PNS | New Delhi/Chandigarh
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