Kartarpur Corridor open from Pakistan side; expect India to follow suit: FO

Kartarpur Corridor open from Pakistan side; expect India to follow suit: FO

ISLAMABAD, Nov 12 (APP): Pakistan on Friday said that the Kartarpur Corridor was open from its side and India was also expected to allow the Sikh pilgrims desiring to join the upcoming birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak from November 17-26.

“We are all set to welcome thousands of devotees from India and around the world coming to Pakistan for the upcoming birth anniversary celebrations of Baba Guru Nanak from 17-26 November for which elaborate arrangements have been put in place,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said in his weekly press briefing.

He said Pakistan also commemorated the second anniversary of the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor-dubbed the ‘Corridor of Hope’ by the UN Secretary-General.

Inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan in 2019, the Corridor is a shining example of our efforts to promote interfaith harmony and is reflective of the primacy Pakistan accords to religious minorities in the country.

The spokesperson note with growing concern how minorities in India, particularly Muslims, were being systematically persecuted and ostracized under the Hindutva-driven ideology of the BJP-RSS combine.

Besides closing its eyes to radical mobs, the Indian authorities are also pursuing anti-Muslim citizenship-related policies and actions, including the mischievous NRC scheme aimed at disenfranchising millions of Muslims, he added.

The spokesperson also apprised media of the diplomatic engagements including the meeting of the Troika Plus, the interaction of Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi with Pakistani leadership including the delegation-level talks, and his meeting with the Special Representatives/Envoys under the Troika Plus format.

He also highlighted the visit of OIC’s Assistant-Secretary-General for Political Affairs & Special Envoy for Jammu and Kashmir, Ambassador Yousef Al-dobeay, accompanied by a high-level delegation including ASG for Humanitarian Affairs, Ambassador Tarig Bakhit and other senior officials who visited Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir from 7-12 November.

The OIC delegation called on the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, Minister of Human Rights and the Foreign Secretary, besides visiting the LOC, Thotha Refugee Camp, meeting the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) and called on the President and Prime Minister of AJK.

Regarding the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), the spokespersons condemned killing of two more Kashmiris by Indian occupation forces on Thursday.

Since 1st October, 21 Kashmiris have been martyred in fake encounters and so-called “cordon and search operations,” he informed.

To a question about the frozen assets of Afghanistan, Asim Iftikhar said Pakistan had sensitized all incoming high-level delegations and all our interlocutors in the engagements abroad, including the very intensive outreach by the Foreign Minister.

To another query, the spokesperson reiterated that Pakistan firmly adhered to the One-China Policy.

“The affairs related to Taiwan are China’s internal matter. We oppose any notion of “Taiwan Independence” or “One China, One Taiwan”. There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is part of China. The issue of lawful representation of the Chinese people at the UN has been settled 50 years ago, as you know.”

Asked about the status of GSP+, he said the current regime would expire in December 2023. The European Commission was reviewing the framework under which the scheme will be renewed beyond January 2024, and that would be relevant to all beneficiary countries.

By Ishtiaq Rao

Ishtiaq Ahmed is a Sr. Reporter who reports on Prime Minister, President, Foreign Office, and special assignments. Backed by 20-year experience, he has written for local and foreign newspapers. Reach out at 03335293238/ [email protected]/ X: ishtiaqrao

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