Editorial Analysis April 1 Presented by: Jaydip Lalchandani Follow me: https://unacademy.com/userl jailalchandani7
India called off a second round of talks with Pakistan on the Kartarpur Corridor scheduled on 2 April. The inclusion of a backer of Khalistan separatists in the recently constituted Kartarpur-related committee by the Pakistan government is the main reason for India calling off the talks. Sikhs on the committee include Maninder Singh, Tara Singh, Bisan Singh, and Gopal Singh Chawla, who is said to be a major supporter of the Khalistan movement and is associated with Hafiz Saeed, chief of the Lashkar-e-Toiba
When India and Pakistan announced in November to operationalise a corridor from Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab to Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara in Pakistan's Punjab, it was hailed as a step forward in an otherwise fraught relationship. ' Prime Minister Narendra Modi appeared to share the optimism when he likened the initiative's potential to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
What has followed, however, is round upon round of wrangling between the two governments over every detail: from the number of pilgrims to be accommodated, to the security restrictions, to the documentation and mode of transport to be used by pilgrims
At the base of the differences is the deep distrust between the two governments, a chasm that has deepened in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack and the Balakot strike
" Pakistan administration feels it should be given more credit for the Kartarpur proposal, something Indian Sikh pilgrims have demanded for decades, ever since the Radcliffe Line left their sacred shrine on the other side of the border in 1947. ' New Delhi refuses to acknowledge Pakistan's overture, and has made it clear the corridor will have no connection with furthering bilateral talks on other issues.
' Last week, the MEA summoned Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner and sought clarifications on the "controversial elements" on the committee, and said the next meeting would only be held after it receives Pakistan's response.
' Pakistan's support to separatist Sikh groups goes back several decades, and India must work to secure its border from the threat even as it opens the gates for thousands of pilgrims to travel to Pakistan. " National security must get priority. But for this, there must be an effort by all stakeholders in India - the Centre, the State government and the leadership of the BJP, the Akalis and the Congress.
Modalities and technical issues, such as on the numbers, eligibility and identity proof required for the trip to Kartarpur Sahib, should be ironed out by both governments.
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