Sunday , April 5 2020

India tries to blunt Pakistan’s initiative, sends own invite

Islamabad: Aware of Pakistan’s invitation to negotiations over the agreement Kartarpur Corridor, India on Tuesday asked Pakistani officials to visit New Delhi for talks on the issue and suggested Feb 26 and March 7 as the two possible dates.

“India has also proposed two set of dates, 26 February and 7 March 2019, for the visit of Pakistan delegation to New Delhi to discuss and finalise the modalities so that the Indian pilgrims can visit the holy Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the corridor at the earliest,” the Indian external affairs ministry said in a statement issued in New Delhi.

The statement surfaced as a result of the draft agreement on Kartarpur Corridor shared by Pakistan with India on Monday and the invitation to initiate the negotiations for its finalisation.

India gave Pakistan counter invite instead of responding on the invitation of Pakistan. India was seen avoiding the tough choice that whether to accept Pakistan’s invitation or putting forward their own.

Previosuly, Pakisatn had urged India to “urgently send a delegation to Islamabad” for negotiating the agreement.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj claimed that the two ministers went to the Gurudwara ‘to offer pra­yers’ and had not been trapped by Pakistani ‘googlies’. Her comments was a reply to Foreign Minis­ter Shah Mahmood Qure­shi’s remarks that Prime Minister Imran had “bowled a googly at India by opening the Kartarpur border corridor.”

Indian Foreign Ministry said that Kartapur ground-breaking was done in line with “the decision taken by the Government of India on 22 November 2018 to expeditiously realise the long pending proposal to establish Kartarpur Corridor”.

Pakistan’s FO had while sharing the draft agreement said, “Islamic principles that advocate respect for all religions and Pakistan’s policy of promoting inter-faith harmony and religious tolerance and also in line with Quaid’s vision of a peaceful neighbourhood.”

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