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Pakistan may use Kartarpur corridor to foment anti-India troubles in Punjab
New Delhi's new headache
3/18/2019 12:47:18 AM
Early Times Report

JAMMU, Mar 17: The Kartarpur corridor construction could be another headache for India in dealing with Pakistan. Kartarpur corridor is a long-standing dream of the Sikh Community to visit the Gurdwara in Pakistan, where Guru Nanak Dev Ji spent the last days of his life. Even after the Pulwama terrorist attack on Feb 14, India had a joint meet with Pakistan on the construction of the corridor and Pakistan side played all tricks to spook the work of the corridor. The question now is if it is the right time to have talks with Pakistan on this issue. Pakistan's behavior and U-Turns suggest it is not.
On March 15, many Indian officials say that Pakistan has "surreptitiously usurped" lands belonging to the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in the name of developing a corridor for the convenience of pilgrims and objected to most of the Indian proposals for the project, reflecting its "double-speak".
According to reports, "The Indian delegation, which attended the first India-Pakistan meeting on Thursday to finalize the modalities for the proposed corridor linking Gurdaspur in Punjab with the Sikh shrine in Pakistan's Kartarpur, strongly protested against the 'rampant encroachment' on the lands belonging to the holy Sikh shrine in utter disregard to the sentiments of devotees of Guru Nanak Dev in India".
"Pakistan has lived up to its old reputation of making false promises, making tall claims and delivering nothing. Its double-speak on the Kartarpur Sahib corridor has been exposed in the first meeting itself at Attari on Thursday," a government official, who attended the meeting, has said. "The encroached lands were donated to the Kartarpur Sahib by devotees like the late Maharaja Ranjit Singh and others," the report further aded.
"Lands owned by the Gurdwara have been surreptitiously usurped by the government of Pakistan in the name of developing the corridor. A strident demand was made by India for the restoration of these lands to the holy Gurdwara urgently, keeping in view the strong sentiments on the issue within India," the report went on to say.
As per reports, "Pakistan wanted to restrict the duration of Kartarpur agreement to just two years, despite India making it clear that it is executing long-lasting and comprehensive facilities at the border by spending Rs 190 crores". "While India has made serious efforts to fulfill the long-standing aspiration of the Indian pilgrims and devotees of Guru Nanak Dev for smooth, easy and hassle-free access of pilgrims to Kartarpur Sahib, Pakistan has scuttled the proposals made by New Delhi," reports from Delhi suggested.
"Against the hype created by the Pakistan government and the Pakistan media, its actual offer during the talks turned out to be farcical and mere tokenism. There is a sea of difference between what Pakistan, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, had announced, and in what they offered at Attari meeting. Clearly, Pakistan is not interested in providing Indian pilgrims easy access to Kartarpur Sahib," the report has said.
Pakistan has, according to reports, "restricted the corridor facility to only Indian Passport holders to the exclusion of a large number of Overseas Citizens of India card holder devotees" and "Pakistan is pretending to be blind to the fact that Guru Nanak Dev holds universal appeal, including the large Indian diaspora, the official said".
New Delhi has expressed hopes that "the special border crossing for pilgrims will open before Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary in November 2019".
All these developments clearly indicate that Pakistan and its spy-agency Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), is seeking to ignite the feelings of Sikhs with the help of anti-India Khalistan forces. It is would be only desirable if New Delhi monitored and analyzed these developments and not walk into the traps being laid by Islamabad.
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