Pak sending team for Kartarpur talks Move Seen As Bid To De-Escalate Tension Between India & Pakistan



New Delhi:

Despite the prevailing tensions, India and Pakistan will go ahead with the March 14 meeting between officials to finalise the modalities for the opening of the Kartarpur corridor. Significantly, India had last week declared that it was not just in favour of going ahead with the Kartarpur initiative, which is meant to facilitate pilgrimage to Kartarpur Sahib gurudwara in Pakistan, but also other forms of people-to-people contact.

While both sides have not discounted the possibility of another military flare-up, Pakistan foreign ministry also conveyed to India’s deputy high commissioner Gaurav Ahluwalia on Tuesday that it remained committed to the weekly DGMO-level contact between the two countries.

Pakistan also told Ahluwalia that its high commissioner Sohail Mahmood was going to return to India after “completion of consultations”. Mahmood is expected to arrive in India in the next few days.

Pakistan conveyed to Ahluwalia that its delegation will visit India “followed by the return visit of the Indian delegation to Islamabad on March 28, to discuss the draft agreement on Kartarpur Corridor”. Pakistan had earlier agreed to send its delegation to India on the condition that the next meeting is held in Islamabad.

India had last week said, even before the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, that it was not going to cancel the Kartarpur meeting and accused Pakistan of creating war hysteria by shutting down its air space. The government has all along maintained that its Balakot air strikes were a “limited, counter-terror” exercise.

“It is Pakistan which created the impression that the two countries were going to war, not us. There was never any effort by India to cancel the meeting on Kartarpur,” said a government source.

It is perhaps significant that Pakistan conveyed its decision to send a delegation to India on a day it seemed to be acting finally, even if ostensibly, trying to assuage concerns over terrorism. It detained 44 members of internationally proscribed organisations, including Masood Azhar’s brother Rauf Asghar, who is one of the main accused in the Pathankot attack case. Also significant was Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s decision to sack a Punjab minister for his derogatory remarks against Hindus.

It is significant that Pakistan conveyed its decision on a day it seemed to be finally acting. It detained 44 members of internationally proscribed organisations, including Masood Azhar’s brother Rauf Asghar

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One Comment

  1. We have bitter experience of 71 years about broken agreements and treaties by Pakistan. The present gimmicks are an attempt to earn goodwill abroad. Masood Azhar and Hafiz Said still roam free. Pakistan has not given up their craving for full Kashmir or support to terrorist outfits in their territory. Our salvation lies in abrogation of Article 370 of our Constitution and banning conversion of Hindus to Islam.

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