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Kartarpur meeting: India refuses visas to Pakistani journalists


News Desk |

Foreign Office Spokesperson Dr. Faisal on Wednesday regretted over Indian denial from issuing visas to Pakistani journalists for the Kartarpur meeting tomorrow.

In his tweet, Dr. Faisal wrote, “Regrettable that India has not given visas to Pakistani journalists for the kartarpur meeting tomorrow. Hope the PakKartarpurSpirit & meeting tomorrow will bring a change for the better for people of both countries”.

Faisal reminded that last year for media coverage of the ground breaking of the corridor, Pakistan had issued visas to more than 30 Indian journalists. He said that the Indian journalists had also met Prime Minister Imran Khan and were hosted by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for a dinner. But for the upcoming meeting between two countries on March 14, India has refused to reciprocate.

Pakistan and India will hold foreign-ministerial level dialogues on March 14 following a major development in the opening of Kartarpur Corridor, ARY News reported on Tuesday. Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Dr. Mohammad Faisal will lead Pakistani delegation in the dialogues to be held in Attari between 9:00 am till 5:00 pm on Thursday.

Pakistani delegation will hold a press briefing at Wagah border at 8:30 am before departing to India for Kartarpur Corridor talks.

Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, the most sacred Sikh monument and final resting place of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, has been denied to the Sikh pilgrims of India since partition.

According to many observers, the BJP led Indian government has been caught unaware by Pakistan’s peace initiative through Kartarpur and has been trying ways to somehow contain it. On 25 January, Dr. Mohammad Faisal had rebuked India’s “childish” response to Islamabad’s invitation to hold talks on the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor. He stated that Pakistan will greet this disappointment with a “mature” response.

Pakistan had initiated developments on the Kartarpur corridor by sending a draft of the proposal to India, inviting representatives to finalize the negotiations. The Foreign Office issued a statement that reinstated Pakistan’s goal to facilitate the Sikh pilgrims with a visa-free corridor to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Narowal.

Read more: New Delhi’s counter-invitation to Kartarpur talks is a “childish” response to…

Instead of accepting the proposal, or even rejecting it for that matter, India issued a counter-invitation to Islamabad. The Indian ministry of external affairs issued a statement that said, “India has also proposed two sets of dates, 26 February and 7 March 2019, for the visit of Pakistan delegation to New Delhi to discuss and finalize the modalities so that the Indian pilgrims can visit the holy Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor at the earliest.”

Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib, the most sacred Sikh monument and final resting place of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, has been denied to the Sikh pilgrims of India since partition.

Read more: Kartarpur Corridor: Indian nation praises PM Khan

In November 2018, Prime Minister Imran Khan performed the groundbreaking ceremony that initiated the development of the Kartarpur Corridor, and Islamabad seeks to secure this development as a prelude to undermining the trust deficit with India, while the Modi-led government adamantly refuses to resume bilateral talks with Pakistan.