Friday, 14 December, 2018

Kartarpur corridor ceremony: Hate can be ended, says Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Sushma Swaraj says India will not attend SAARC if it's held in Pakistan Sushma Swaraj says India will not attend SAARC if it's held in Pakistan
Leonard Rios | 30 November, 2018, 04:18

A fuming India came out with a statement condemning Khan's manouvres, calling it "deeply regrettable that the Prime Minister of Pakistan chose to politicise the pious occasion meant to realise the long pending demand of the Sikh community to develop Kartarpur corridor by making unwarranted reference to Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral and inalienable part of India".

There was a need for "showing strength, will and determination" by the leadership of the two countries to resolve all issues, Khan said after the foundation ceremony and emphasised that both countries are nuclear armed and "only a foolish individual can think one can win a nuclear war".

Sikh pilgrim wait for food at the shrine of their spiritual leader Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur, Pakistan, Nov. 28, 2018.

The Pakistan foreign minister said the new government has now carved out from scratch the country's foreign policy priorities. - AFP Prime Minister Imran Khan performs the groundbreaking of the Kartarpur corridor alongside Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Indian Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, Badal and Puri.

Sidhu's picture with Chawla may go wrong with him as he (Chawla) heads the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, that provoked anger in India.

"India and Pakistan can keep blaming each other, but to move forward we need to get rid of the shackles of the past", he said.

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Navjot Singh Sidhu is already under fire for his visit to Pakistan and for effusively praising Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan at the event. "The seed that Imran Khan sowed three months ago has become a tree now and me and 120 million Sikhs could not be happier", he said.

The fenced crossing dubbed a "corridor of peace" will link Indian border city Dera Baba Nanak, to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, the final resting place of Sikhism's founder Guru Nanak in Pakistani Punjab. It was established in 1522 by Guru Nanak Dev who is believed to have spent 18 years here. "Because, as I said, that unless and until Pakistan stops terrorist activities in India, there will be no dialogue and we will not participate in SAARC", Swaraj told a press conference. Punjab cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu also attended the ceremony.

Last week, India gave the go-ahead to Pakistan's proposal to build the Kartarpur corridor to facilitate Sikh pilgrims wishing to visit the place that holds religious significance for the Sikh community.

Pakistan has been described by analysts as suffering from magnificent delusion, but in reality it is India that is delusional if it went into the Kartarpur initiative thinking that it could be seen in isolation and independent of the state of larger bilateral ties.

The laying of the road's first foundation stone in Pakistan, Wednesday, comes days after the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks, a four day terror siege in which 164 people were killed.

Pakistan had invited External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who thanked her Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi for the invite and said she was unable to travel to Kartarpur Sahib due to prior commitments. Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur, who also attended the ceremony, took a swipe at Mr Sidhu on his bonhomie with the Pakistani prime minister. Sidhu seems to have more love and respect in Pakistan than what I noticed over here.

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