India postpones talks with Pakistan over presence of Khalistani sympathiser on Kartarpur panelhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/kartarpur-corridor-india-pakistan-talks-cancelled-khalistani-gopal-singh-chawla-5648713/

India postpones talks with Pakistan over presence of Khalistani sympathiser on Kartarpur panel

The Ministry of External Affairs, it is learnt, have conveyed to their counterpart that the next meeting on modalities would be scheduled only after they receive a response from the neighbouring country over the indicated concerns.

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India had earlier cleared its stand on Kartarpur Corridor not being used for anti-India activities including secessionist activities or propaganda, adding it is only a passage for pilgrims to travel safe and in a secure manner.

India on Friday postponed its second round of talks with Pakistan scheduled for April 2 to resolve outstanding issues concerning the infrastructure development of the Kartarpur Corridor. Earlier in the day, New Delhi had summoned the neighbouring country’s envoy and expressed concerns over the inclusion of controversial Khalistani sympathiser Gopal Singh Chawla in the corridor panel.

Sources in the government said Gopal Singh Chawala, who allegedly also has close ties with Lashkar-e-Taiba’s co-founder and terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed, is on the special 10-member committee of the Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbhandhak Committee (PSGPC) that will “help facilitate” the visit of Indians pilgrims at the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara.

The Ministry of External Affairs, it is learnt, have conveyed to their counterpart that the next meeting on modalities would be scheduled only after they receive a response from the neighbouring country over the indicated concerns. “India has sought clarifications on reports that controversial elements have been appointed by Pakistan to a committee to be associated with the Kartarpur corridor,” the MEA said.

Terming India’s decision as “incomprehensible”, Pakistan Foreign Affairs Minister Mohammad Faisal tweeted, “The meeting was to discuss and find consensus on outstanding issues. Last minute postponement without seeking views from Pakistan and especially after the productive technical meeting on March 19 is incomprehensible.”

India had earlier cleared its stand on Kartarpur Corridor not being used for anti-India activities, including secessionist activities or propaganda, adding it is only a passage for pilgrims to travel safe and in a secure manner.

At the last meeting in Attari with Pakistan, India had proposed to hold another meeting of technical experts in mid-April to resolve outstanding issues in order to ensure the infrastructure development of the corridor in an expeditious manner.

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