The Pakistan delegation that had arrived in New Delhi on March 22 made a surprise visit to Amritsar’s Golden Temple on Thursday. According to reports, the Pakistan diplomatic team that had arrived in India this week for the annual Indus Water Treaty talks visited Amritsar’s Golden temple.
Pakistan delegation in India for Indus water talks visited Amritsar’s Golden Temple today— ANI (@ANI) March 25, 2021
“We are hopeful that our dialogue will also continue in the future. It was a wonderful experience to visit the Golden Temple,” said Pakistan’s Indus water commissioner pic.twitter.com/1LjkWn2ODa
On Wednesday, the Permanent Indus Commission’s (PIC) annual meeting of Indus Commissioners from India and Pakistan concluded in New Delhi. The annual PIC had seen officials from both sides present to negotiate the Indus Water Treaty’s (IWT) management goals as mediated by the World Bank.
The two Commissioners meet annually alternately in India and Pakistan, under the terms of the Indus Waters Treaty signed between the two countries in 1960. Last year, the scheduled meeting was called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2018, the PIC meeting was held in Lahore, Pakistan. PK Saxena, the Indian Commissioner for Indus Waters, headed the delegation.
The main purpose of PIC is to address technical issues related to the implementation of IWT while also implementing a system for information exchange on river use between India and Pakistan.
Interestingly, the visit of Pakistani delegations comes a day after the father of Jugraj Singh, the 21-year-old rioter who hoisted the Khalistani flag on the Red Fort during Republic Day riots, was honoured at an event held inside the Golden Temple.
Republic Day rioter honoured at Amritsar’s Golden Temple
Jugraj Singh hails from Vaan Tara Singh village of Punjab’s Tarn Taran district. He has been booked for rioting and sedition by Delhi Police for Republic Day riots and has since been on the run.
The Golden Temple event organisers included Sanyukt Kisan Morcha representative like BKU (Krantikari) president Surjit Singh Phul, Dal Khalsa president Harpal Singh Cheema, former leader of the Aam Aadmi Party Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) general secretary Prof Mohinder Pal Singh, amongst others. They also expressed support for absconding gangster Lakha Sidhana who is wanted by police in the Republic Day riots case. He also carries a bounty of Rs 1 lakh on his head.
The Golden Temple event was organised in memory of the rioter Navreet Singh who was killed when his tractor turned turtle while he was trying to break barricades during Republic Day riots.