The Ministry of External Affairs in India has expressed a sharp disapproval of the blatant politicisation of the Kartarpur corridor. The MEA said that it was unfortunate that Pakistan was politicising a religious issue.
Pak attempt to politicise religious issue (#KartarpurCorridor) unfortunate: @MEAIndia. Breach of protocol by Pakistan. 2 cabinet ministers went & Pak did not permit protocol officer to accompany them. Also plan was to only have @sherryontopp speak & not Indian cabinet ministers
— GAURAV C SAWANT (@gauravcsawant) December 6, 2018
In addition, the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, Raveesh Kumar, also accused Pakistan of breaching the protocol. According to him, Pakistan didn’t allow a protocol officer to accompany the 2 Indian cabinet ministers. Moreover, Pakistan only had the plan of letting Navjot Singh Sidhu speak during the ceremony and not the two cabinet ministers who were there to represent India.
It is notable here that Punjab Congress minister Navjot Sidhu, who had made a ridicule of himself when he went to attend Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony earlier, has been parroting Pakistan’s words throughout the entire episode of Kartarpur corridor ceremony. While Pakistan made a pomp and show of the groundbreaking ceremony, a large section of Indian media had also played a part in portraying the issue as a grand gesture from Pakistan.
Raveesh Kumar reportedly also added that India and Pakistan have agreed to build Kartarpur corridor in principle but the technical modalities for the same have to be deliberated and finalised. MEA has also expressed hope that Pakistan will abide by its commitment and facilitate the construction of the corridor.
Pakistan had already cleared their views about the corridor when the Pak Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi claimed that Imran Khan bowled a Googly to India. In an attempt to take a dig at India’s stand, he added that India had to send two of its ministers.
While Imran Khan had made crass comments about PM Modi in the past and Pakistan has till date shown no solid action over its terrorists operating in Kashmir, it has been stated by experts that the entire issue of Kartarpur corridor, which holds a deep sentimental value to Sikhs and has been a standing issue between the countries for a long time, is being misused by Pakistan only as a PR stunt.
India’s EAM Sushma Swaraj had made it clear that Pakistan’s posturing on Kartarpur will not help bilateral relations between the two countries unless Pakistan stops sponsoring violence on Indian soil.
The EAM had also reverted back to her Pakistani counterpart Qureshi for his ‘Googly’ comment.
On the other hand, Sidhu’s visits to Pakistan have resulted in an unsparing attack from various quarters. On his first visit, Sidhu was critiqued for hugging Pak Army Chief General Bajwa. On his second visit, he also drew flak for posing for photos with Khalistani terrorist Gopal Chawla.