Pak Min’s Kartarpur Corridor Remark Shows ‘Wicked’ Plan: Amarinder

Rashid claimed that the Indian media “played up” the issue of General Bajwa’s extension.

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India
3 min read
Image of Pakistan PM Imran Khan (L) and Army Chief General Bajwa (R) used for representational purposes.
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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday, 1 December, said that Pakistan Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid's disclosure that Kartarpur Corridor was the "brainchild" of their Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa has exposed Islamabad's nefarious intent behind the initiative.

The opening of the historic Kartarpur corridor was the brainchild of Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and it will hurt India forever, Rashid had claimed on Saturday, contradicting his government's assertion that the idea behind the initiative was of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Singh expressed serious concern over this admission by the Pakistan minister and said that in validating his stand on the issue, Rashid had completely bared the ‘wicked design’ of Pakistan behind the Corridor, which India had hoped would emerge as a bridge of peace between the two countries.

Given Rashid’s revelation, the chief minister also urged his former cabinet colleague Navjot Singh Sidhu to be cautious in his dealings with the Imran Khan government in Pakistan.

Singh took strong exception to Rashid's remarks that, "the Corridor would hurt India forever, which would forever remember the wound inflicted on it by General Bajwa with the Kartarpur Corridor."

Terming it an open and blatant threat against India's security and integrity, he warned Pakistan to not attempt to indulge in any misadventure against its neighbour.

“Don’t make the mistake of reading weakness in our gratitude for the opening of the Corridor,” he said, warning India would give a befitting response to any bid by Pakistan to attack its borders or its people.

Declaring that India would never let Pakistan fulfill its despicable ambitions, Singh said in a statement here that any such attempt by Islamabad would be met with retaliation of the kind that "they would never be able to survive".

On 9 November, PM Khan inaugurated the Kartarpur corridor to facilitate the visa-free entry of Indian Sikh pilgrims to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak Dev.

While inaugurating the corridor, Khan had told a gathering of over 12,000 devotees, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, "I had no idea of the importance this place holds. I found out a year ago. I am happy we could do this for you".

‘Pak Has Won the Love of the Sikh Community’

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has claimed that the Kartarpur corridor was the initiative of Prime Minister Khan.

However, Pakistan's Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, a known motormouth considered to be a close aide of Prime Minister Khan, contradicted the government's claim on Saturday when he told reporters that the opening of the corridor was the brainchild of Army chief General Bajwa and asserted that it will hurt India forever.

"India will remember forever the kind of wound inflicted on it by General Bajwa by opening Kartarpur corridor," he said.

“Gen Bajwa strongly hit India by opening the corridor. Through this project, Pakistan has created a new environment of peace and won itself the love of the Sikh community.”
Sheikh Rashid, Railways Minister of Pakistan

Rashid claimed that the Indian media "played up" the issue of General Bajwa's extension.

"The Imran Khan government has three more years and Bajwa has got three years in extension and not six months. So our government will complete its tenure," he said, indirectly referring that General Bajwa is here to back prime minister Khan's government.

General Bajwa did not attend the Kartarpur Corridor's opening ceremony apparently to avoid any controversy.

In the groundbreaking ceremony on 28 November last year, the hug of Congress leader Sidhu with General Bajwa had sparked a controversy.

Frayed Ties With India

The inauguration of the corridor came in the midst of frayed ties between India and Pakistan following New Delhi's 5 August decision to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcate the State into two Union Territories.

Notwithstanding a chill in the bilateral ties over Kashmir, India and Pakistan after tough negotiations signed an agreement in October, paving the way for the inauguration of the Kartarpur corridor on 9 November.

The agreement will allow 5,000 Indian pilgrims daily to visit Gurdwara Darbar Sahib where Guru Nanak spent the last 18 years of his life.

In February 1999, the Kartarpur corridor was proposed by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee when he took a bus ride to Lahore during a peace initiative with Pakistan. It links Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India's Gurdaspur district.

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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