On Friday, India summoned Pakistan's deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah and conveyed concerns over the presence of a leading Khalistani separatist Chawla in a committee appointed by Pakistan on the Kartarpur Corridor project, official sources said. Pakistan, on the other hand described it as ‘incomprehensible.’ Chawla is also a close aide of terrorist Hafiz Saeed, mastermind of 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.
The next meeting on the corridor is scheduled on April 2 in Wagah on the Pakistani side. However, officials sources said that India is likely to reschedule the meeting and wait for Pakistan’s response on the same. Sources also added that India has sought clarification on various other issues from Pakistan including the presence of anti-India elements like Bison Singh, Kuljit Singh and Maninder Singh in works of the project.
Although Pakistan agreed to allow pilgrims from all faiths to visit Kartarpur Sahib as demanded by IndiaIndia is planning to dealy the meeting, citing the concern about the safety and security of pilgrims and possible misuse of the corridor for anti-India activities. The Pakistani Cabinet constituted a 10-member Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) to facilitate Sikh pilgrims after opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.
India has been strongly emphasising on the need for foolproof security for its pilgrims on the Pakistani soil and demanding commitment from the neighbouring country to insulate them from any anti-India propaganda during their visit to Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib. A Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) statement said it has been conveyed to the Paksitani side that the next meeting on the modalities of the corridor can be scheduled at an appropriate time after receiving Pakistan's response.
Though the Indian government remains committed to the long-pending demand of the Indian pilgrims to visit the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib, it wants to assure that the corridor is a safe and secure, and passage of pilgrims is easy.
Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. Last November, India and Pakistan agreed to set up the border crossing linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, the final resting place of Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev, to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district. After that, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on November 26 last year, laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor in Gurdaspur district.Two days later, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Narowal.