Pakistan has once again demonstrated its mindset by turning a pious occasion into a political game of one-upmanship.
Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan chose to turn the occasion of Kartarpur Sahib foundation day to raise the Kashmir issue. He also took veiled potshots at India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi which was clearly in poor taste. There was no mention of the core issue of terrorism, especially since this event was organised days after the anniversary of 26/11 terror attacks. At a juncture when the entire world is seeking answers from Pakistan on the issue of terrorism, and specifically the 26/11 perpetrators, Imran Khan clearly has sidestepped the issue at the behest of his Pak Army masters.
The Kartarpur fiasco proves yet again that the deep state in Pakistan would never let any corridor of peace between India and Pakistan to flourish. Even at the event, a known Khalistani supporter and an associate of Hafiz Saeed was seen in proximity of the Pakistani premier.
During his address, Imran heaped praise on his Cricket buddy Navjot Sidhu, even telling him that things would change if he (Sidhu) was PM of India. He deliberately chose his words knowing very well that two senior representatives of the Narendra Modi government were there in the audience. As was expected, India has reacted sharply to Imran's attempt to turn a pious occasion to serve his own hidden agenda.
Observers even noticed the violation of protocol by ensuring that cabinet minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal was not seated next to the Pakistani foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi. Instead, Sidhu who was on a 'private visit' was given the pride of place during the entire ceremony.
India should not expect Pakistan to genuinely work towards ending terrorism directed against India. Instead, it needs to ensure that it doesn't let its guard down especially since the religious corridor would be in the proximity of sensitive defence installations. The real test of Pakistan's sincerity and that of Imran Khan agenda would be in ensuring that a credible and verifiable action is taken against the perpetrators of the 26/11 attack. Till that happens, India should not be swayed away by Pakistan's cosmetic moves to mend ties with India.