New Delhi on Friday postponed a planned Kartarpur Corridor meeting – scheduled for April 2 – a day after receiving Islamabad’s reply on the Pulwama dossier.
The Foreign Office (FO) regretted the Indian decision and termed the last minute postponement “incomprehensible”.
After the first round of talks on March 14, the two sides were to finalise modalities for operationalising of the corridor to provide Indian Sikh pilgrims visa-free access to the shrine of Guru Nanak – the founder of Sikhism.
“Pakistan regrets the Indian decision to postpone the upcoming Kartarpur meeting, jointly agreed by both sides on 14 March 2019,” said FO Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal. “The meeting was to discuss and find consensus on outstanding issues.”
The FO also lamented India’s move without seeking Pakistan’s view especially keeping in view that the last technical meeting was productive.
It may be mentioned here that the move came a day after the FO said its preliminary probe into the Pulwama attack failed to establish any link between Pakistan and the February 14 suicide bombing.
The FO spokesperson’s statement was issued following Indian Ministry of External Affairs said New Delhi sought “clarifications from Pakistan on key proposals put forward by India at the last meeting held in Attari to discuss the modalities of the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor”.
“India has also shared concerns and sought clarifications on reports that controversial elements have been appointed by Pakistan to a committee to be associated with the Kartarpur Corridor.”
New Delhi said the meeting will be scheduled after Pakistan responds to its concerns. “Meanwhile, in order to take forward the infrastructure development for the Corridor in an expeditious manner, India has proposed to hold another meeting of techncial experts in mid-April to resolve outstanding issues at the zero point agreed to at the last meeting.”