Sukhbir Singh Badal condemns Pak's restrictions on Kartarpur corridor

PUNJAB: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday slammed Pakistan's comments in regard with Kartarpur corridor and said that Pakistan has shown its true colours now.

"Pakistan is now playing the games. When the talks are now taking place, the actual attitude of Pakistan has come out. They have started putting restrictions now. India asked them to allow 15000 people but Pakistan denied and saying only 500 people will be allowed. Pakistan says we will open the corridor for two years only. This is not right. They are also deciding on which days they will open the corridor. I condemn Pakistan's attitude the way they are behaving now," Badal said.

"If they do not have funds, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) and the Sikh community are ready to provide funds. They are playing politics looking at the conditions they have made. This should not be for two years only but should be there permanently. 15000 people should be allowed to walk on foot to the 'guru ghar'. I think they should give SGPC to maintain the 'guru ghar'," the SAD president said.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had also made similar demands and said, "Pilgrims should be allowed to go through Kartarpur Corridor for 'khule darshan' at the historic gurdwara all 7 days a week. Special permits should be good for identity, the visa requirement needs to be waived off. Pakistan has to be more responsive on this issue."

The first round of delegation-level talks between India and Pakistan on Kartarpur Corridor were held on Thursday. The two sides agreed to work "expeditiously" to operationalise Kartarpur Sahib Corridor and decided to hold a meeting of the technical experts on March 19, which will be followed by another round of talks on the issue on April 2.

The Kartarpur Corridor is a long pending demand of Indian devotees which have been a matter of discussion since 1999 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Lahore. It also figured in discussions in composite dialogue, where Pakistan was asked to make Kartarpur part of 1974 protocol as one of the holy shrines in 2005.

 

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PTI