India reacts sharply to Imran referring to Kashmir at Kartarpur

29 November, 2018, 06:28 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Pakistan       by Haider Ali | Published

Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has termed the opening of Kartarpur corridor a "step towards peace", which the region needed.

In his tweet, the Spokesperson of the Foreign Office Dr Muhammad Faisal said, "The world comes together for the #PakistanKartarpurSpirit - diplomats attending the groundbreaking ceremony".

India and Pakistan are set to inaugurate the construction of a corridor to facilitate hassle free cross-border travel for religious devotees - a rare step to improve ties between the two South Asian foes even as deep-seated divisions continue to obstruct progress in long-stalled peace talks.

The issue of Kartarpur Sahib came into focus after Sidhu visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of his cricketer-turned-politician friend Imran Khan as prime minister of that country.

She, along with Union Minister of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, crossed Atari-Wagah border to return to India.

Sidhu crossed the worldwide border at Wagah and was received by Pakistani authorities.

While, in India, the groundbreaking ceremony in Punjab's Gurdaspur district was performed on November 26, 2018, two days before Pakistan's ceremony. India's foreign ministry said that Khan's "unwarranted reference to Jammu and Kashmir" on the occasion was deeply regrettable. "Our children have stunted growth - both our countries need to move forward".


Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony for the corridor to Kartarpur Sahib, Khan raised the Kashmir issue saying that "two capable leaderships" to resolve it. He compared the situation to that of France and Germany - they fought many wars and there was a lot of bloodshed but their leaders made a decision to move forward.

Earlier Indian Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, who is also a senior member of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, also addressed the gathering.

He has also questioned if "we" would have to wait for Navjot Singh Sidhu to become prime minister of India for friendship between India and Pakistan.

"If India takes one step forward, we will take two steps forward in friendship", he reiterated. "First, I feel let us take control of our own part of Kashmir, bring it under control, get the system moving there and then start looking at things", he said.

Khan wondered why Sidhu, who advocated peace between the two countries, had been criticised for his previous visit. "After all what's the impediment in holding talks, nobody is doing it on gunpoint", she said. He added that both the countries stood to gain from better ties. "It is not an enthusiasm or a laughter challenge from Sidhu", the minister said.

The prime minister promised the Sikh community that his administration would ensure modern facilities at Kartarpur when they come to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji next year.

Sikh pilgrims coming from other countries can land at Lahore and Sialkot worldwide airports and reach to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib from the old route.

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