India on Friday summoned Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner here and conveyed concerns over the presence of several Khalistani separatists in a committee appointed by Pakistan on the Kartarpur Corridor, sources said.
India also asked Pakistani Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah his country’s stand on key proposals put forward by New Delhi at the last meeting held in Attari to discuss the modalities of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor, they said.
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. The next round of talks were scheduled to be held on April 2 at Wagah border.
In order to take forward the infrastructure development for the corridor in an expeditious manner, India has proposed holding another meeting of technical experts in mid-April to resolve outstanding issues at the zero point agreed to at the last meeting, the statement said.
The Indian government remains committed to realising the long pending demand of the Indian pilgrims to visit the Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor in a safe, secure, smooth and easy manner, it said.
India has asked Pakistan to allow pilgrims to travel on foot, if they wish. It also urged that another 10,000 pilgrims be allowed access on festivals like Baisakhi and Gurupurab.
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.
Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had 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, 125 km from Lahore.