Kashmiris welcome goodwill measures between India and Pakistan, says Mirwaiz Umar Farooq

Hannah Rogers
November 30, 2018

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. "This is also reflective of the importance and primacy that Pakistan gives to all minorities", said the statement released by the Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Earlier, in the wake of rising diplomatic tensions follwing a terrorist attack on an Indian Army camp in Uri of Jammu and Kashmir in September, 2016, India had announced its boycott of the summit, alleging Pakistan's involvement in the attack. The moment Pakistan stops all terrorist activities in India, the dialogue can start.

"If we want to do what we want to do, which is concentrate on fixing poverty, institutions, we need peace in the region". The new government in Pakistan did set out all courtesies for the visiting Indian delegation and there was a possibility that the corridor would take shape even though details of the travel and stay of pilgrims could require more attention.

This twisting of history and revision of geography is typical of a revisionist state but then Khan was only exploiting the space that India has gifted through its disastrous signals over Kartarpur corridor.

Imran Khan in a recent interview to an English news channel has said that the consensus for talks with India should not be seen as desperation for talks while adding that he can't be blamed for the issues which his government has inherited in Pakistan with respect to New Delhi-Islamabad relations. Did New Delhi seriously think that Pakistan would let go of the opportunity to score some cheap PR points at a high-profile event?

As far as the opening of the Kartarpur border is concerned, it can be described as a good diplomatic move by General Bajwa and his men, but chances are very slim that it will result in the resumption of a bilateral dialogue between the two countries.

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The move has been welcomed enthusiastically by the Sikh community, and also represents a rare instance of co-operation between the two countries, which have fought three wars against each other since independence. "There is no issue which can not be resolved", he said and reiterated that if India moves one step forward, Pakistan will take two steps forward. Khan also threw darts at Narendra Modi and suggested that Navjot Sidhu - the joker in the pack who can not tell a news conference from a stand-up comedy show - would make for a far better prime minister.

An emotional Kaur said the corridor will bring joy and peace to both countries. "We need peace in order to speed up the development of our country", Qureshi said.

While mocking the Congress leader and Punjab Cabinet Minister, Badal stated that Sidhu has become a Pakistani agent and Congress president Rahul Gandhi should clear his stand on the issue.

The issue of Kartarpur Sahib came into focus after Sidhu visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of his cricketer-turned-politician friend Imran Khan as prime minister of that country.

Pakistan denies supporting militants targeting Indian forces in Kashmir and in return accuses India of supporting separatist movements within Pakistan.

The Pakistan government will open the four-km-long visa-free corridor on Baba Guru Nanak's 550th birth anniversary next year.

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