India on Thursday said that it expects Pakistan to implement its announcements relating to the Kartarpur corridor project “expeditiously”. “Pakistan has to come true to the announcements they made… It is important that they implement the announcements expeditiously,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar told reporters while replying to questions on the issue.
He also suggested that the protocol officer attached to Union Minister Hasimrat Kaur Badal, during the ground-breaking ceremony for the corridor in Pakistan, was not allowed to accompany her when she visited Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur.
There was a “problem” of access to the protocol officer, said Kumar, adding it helps to have a protocol officer to assist the minister. “That did not happen,” he said, refusing to elaborate further.
Union ministers Badal and Hardeep Singh Puri as well as Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu attended the ceremony on November 28.
The corridor will link the Darbar Sahib shrine in Kartarpur in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab province to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur district in India.
Addressing a gathering after the ceremony, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that his government will create various facilities for the pilgrims, including hotels and restaurants.
After the event, a row broke out following Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s remarks that Khan, a former cricketer, bowled a “googly”, forcing India to send two ministers to the groundbreaking ceremony in Pakistan.
The Pakistan PM distanced himself from the remarks by his foreign minister.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj criticised Qureshi for his “googly” comments and said they reflected that he has no respect for Sikh sentiments.