13:25 GMT +322 September 2019
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    India Calls Off Meet Over Inclusion of Alleged Secessionists in Pak Committee

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    The Kartarpur Corridor project is underway despite the escalation in cross-border tensions on account of the mid-February Pulwama terror attacks carried out in India by a Pakistan-based jihadist organization, which saw both the nuclear states engaging in active military posturing through a show of air power.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): India has called off the second round of talks on the Kartarpur corridor with Pakistan scheduled on 2 April after several concerns including the presence of secessionist leaders remained unresolved on the issue. Sources told Sputnik that India's objections are against the presence of members such as Gopal Singh Chawla, Tara Singh, Besant Singh, Maninder Singh and kuljeet singh in the 10 members Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee that will facilitate Sikh pilgrims after the opening of Kartarpur Corridor.

    READ MORE: India, Pakistan to Complete Dedicated Corridor for Sikh Pilgrims by Next Year

    "India has also shared concerns and sought clarifications on reports that controversial elements have been appointed by Pakistan to a committee to be associated with the Kartarpur Corridor," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday.

    It is alleged that Gopal Singh Chawla is a Khalistani terrorist and an associate of Lashkar-e-toiba terrorist group chief Hafiz Mohammed Sayeed while others have been known to have made provocative statements propagating hatred and violence. The MEA also sought clarifications from Pakistan on key proposals that it had put forward, at the last meeting to discuss the technical modalities of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor. The ministry also indicated that the next meeting on the modalities could be rescheduled in mid-April at the zero point.

    "It has been conveyed that the next meeting on the modalities can be scheduled at an appropriate time after receiving Pakistan's response…Meanwhile, in order to take forward the infrastructure development for the corridor in an expeditious manner, India has proposed to hold another meeting of technical experts in mid-April to resolve outstanding issues at the zero point agreed to at the last meeting," the ministry added. 

    READ MORE: India Disappointed Over Pakistan’s Stance on Kartarpur Corridor – Report

    Pakistan regrets the Indian decision to postpone the upcoming Kartarpur meeting, jointly agreed by both sides on 14 March. The meeting was to discuss and find consensus on outstanding issues; Pakistan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

    The Kartarpur Corridor, slated to be operationalised this year, is an Indo-Pak people-to-people exchange project to facilitate Sikh pilgrims from India to visit the final resting place of Sikhism's founder and its first guru, Guru Nanak Dev. The place is located at Kartarpur in Pakistan at a distance of 3 kilometres from the international border.

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    Tags:
    shrine, Sikh, separatist, religion, border, India, Pakistan
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