The cancellation of the second round of talks between India and Pakistan on Kartarpur corridor reflects the distrust between the two countries.
The first round of talks on March 14, which took place in the shadow of the Pulwama terror attack, had revealed divergences between the two sides on all aspects of the pilgrimage corridor. This ranged from the number of pilgrims to the visiting days to the identity documents required — and had displayed the complete divergence between the two sides.
But, it was followed up by the zero point coordinates meeting at the border.
Now, with Pakistan forming a team with known pro-Khalistan leaders within the Sikh community, Delhi has made its displeasure known. According to state-run Radio Pakistan, the Pakistani Cabinet constituted a ten-member Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (PSGPC) to facilitate Sikh pilgrims after opening of Kartarpur Corridor. However, it did not name the members of the committee. As election season is in full swing in India, it is unlikely that the Indian side will retreat and make conciliatory gestures towards Pakistan. This, in effect, means it will be for the next government to decide how talks between the countries continues on the Kartarpur corridor.
India and Pakistan agreed, in November last year, to set up a border crossing linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev, to the 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.
The foundation stone of the Kartarpur Corridor in Gurdaspur district was laid by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Days later, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Narowal, 125 km from Lahore.
— With inputs from agencies