Amid the calls for resumption of dialogue between India and Pakistan, following the opening of the Kartarpur Gurudwara corridor, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that the neighbouring country can seek India’s help if it cannot handle the fight against terrorism alone.
The minister maintaining that Jammu & Kashmir is an integral part of India said, “Jammu and Kashmir is not an issue. It is an integral part of the country and will remain so. The issue is of terrorism, and Pakistan can discuss it. I want to ask the Pakistani prime minister that if in Afghanistan, a fight can be carried out against terror and Taliban with the help of the US, then, Pakistan can seek help against terrorism from India if it feels that it cannot handle it alone.
After agreeing to open the Kartapur corridor, Pakistan was expecting India to engage in dialogue. However, India refused to attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad saying there will be no dialogue with Pakistan until it stops sponsoring terrorism.
The issue of Kartarpur Sahib came under the limelight after Sidhu visited Pakistan in August to attend the oath-taking ceremony of his cricketer-turned politician friend Khan as the prime minister of the country. (AP Photo)Clearing India’s position on the SAARC summit, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that although India welcomed the development of the Kartarpur corridor for Sikh pilgrims, it would not have any dialogue with Islamabad till it stopped sponsoring terrorism.
“Bilateral dialogues and Kartarpur corridor are two different things. I am very happy that for the last 20 years, rather many years, the government of India has been asking for this Kartarpur corridor and for the first time Pakistan responded positively,” she said.
India had also expressed its displeasure over Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan raising the issue of Kashmir in his speech during the ground-breaking ceremony for the development of the Kartarpur Corridor on Wednesday. Hitting out at Khan for politicising the “pious occasion”, the Ministry of External Affairs said Kashmir was an integral and inalienable part of India.
“I am saying today, that our political leaders, our army, and all other institutions are all on one page. We wish to move forward, we want a civilised relationship. We have just one problem, Kashmir. If a man can walk on the moon, what problems are there that we cannot resolve?” Khan said at the ceremony.
The Pakistani prime minister had recently addressed the issue of terrorism on completion of 100 days of his government. “It is not in our interest to allow the use of Pakistan’s territory for terror outside. People in Pakistan want peace with India. The mindset of people here has changed,” Khan said. His comments on terrorism came just a day after Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj made it clear that India would not attend the SAARC summit in Islamabad “until and unless” Pakistan stopped sponsoring terror